A hearing is scheduled Wednesday morning on a preliminary injunction against Santa Ana's Townsend Gang, the 13th Orange County street gang to face such sanctions.
As my colleague Gabriel San Roman reported in June, the Orange County District Attorney's office filed for a preliminary gang injunction on Townsend, and Santa Ana police officers followed by serving notices to those named in it.
But Wednesday's 10 a.m. hearing in the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana will concern challenges by at least 10 people who claim to be wrongly named in the injunction, which the OCDA and Santa Ana Police Department want made permanent.
The area the injunction covers is from the south curb line of First Street at Sullivan Street, extending east to the east curb line of Raitt Street, south to the south curb line of McFadden Avenue, west to the west curb line of Sullivan Street and north to the south curb line of First Street at Sullivan.
"Do not stand, sit, walk, drive, bicycle, gather or appear with anyone you know to be a member, participant, associate, servant, employee aider or abetter," or "anyone you know to be acting under, in concert with, for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with the TOWNSEND STREET criminal street gang," reads the document. Exceptions exist for school and church, but not for how people served get to those locations.
District Attorney Tony Rackauckas has said families and residents within the "safety zone" have been terrorized for years by the gang, and that these injunctions have reduced crime by 65 percent in targeted areas.
Chican@s Unidos activists argue gang injunctions violate civil rights and due process. They are closing watching the injunction process, as is the American Civil Liberties Union, which has successfully challenged parts of previous injunctions in court.