The Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA) secured its 12th overall injunction yesterday when it serviced an unnamed violent Anaheim street gang. The measure marks the fourth in the city alone and will be enforced by its police department.
A one-square mile area designates the boundaries of the 'Safety Zone,' described as being "south of Orangethorpe Avenue, west of State College Boulevard, north of Sycamore Street and east of East Street/Raymond Avenue."
Included therein is the community of Anna Drive.
since being the site of a controversial officer-involved shooting on
July 21, 2012 that killed an unarmed 25 year-old named Manuel Diaz in addition to being one of the targets spots of an ATF-led Operation Halo raid that followed the very next month.
The press release describes the unnamed gang as a "violent, traditional turf-orientated gang that has been active since the 1980s with approximately 70 to 80 members actively engaged in nuisance and criminal activity." The boundaries of the injunction clearly coincides with areas claimed by Eastside Anaheim.
Anaheim Police Department Investigator Daniel Gonzalez is quoted extensively in a 217-page declaration regarding the injunction citing testimonies of residents living in fear of criminal activity, expressing a related reluctance to work with local law enforcement officials because of it, while also noting excerpts about police monitoring of 'net banging' on social media websites.
The injunction, as explained in the OCDA's announcement, names the gang as defendant and subjects "all active, documented members" to its terms. The prohibitions laid out cover familiar criminal activities such as burglaries, vandalism, drug dealing, and public consumption of alcohol. Provisions of association target a broad range of interactions including "standing, sitting, walking, driving, bicycling, gathering, or appearing anywhere in public or public view with any known member of the gang" with exceptions granted for school and church.
It is these broad-based activities that the injunction notes as not 'inherently criminal' that are part of the grounds for criticism of those who see these types of law enforcement measures as much more problematic than solution-orientated leading to civil liberty issues, racial profiling, inflated databases and further criminalization of youth.
"There's numerous problems. We see an increase of violence outside the safety zone," says Kim McGill, an organizer with the Los Angeles-based Youth Justice Coalition. "It doesn't solve crime, it displaces it many times. We've seen people unable to interact with their own family members because of injunctions. We don't see more people feeling safer out in the streets."
Anna Drive as a neighborhood within the injunction area has been organizing posadas, rosarios, and clean up days all in an effort to rebuild a sense of community. With the events over the summer, it has also been a place for marches and actions against police brutality aimed at the very same force tasked to carry out the injunction there and in other adjacent neighborhoods.
Gabriel San Roman is from Anacrime. He’s a journalist, subversive historian and tallest Mexican in OC.