OAKLAND (KCBS) – An Alameda County judge is scheduled to continue hearing evidence Wednesday afternoon over whether Oakland can impose a curfew and other restrictions on dozens of suspected gang members. Attorneys for both sides of the issue will argue whether the gang injunction violates civil rights, or acts as a protective order for the community.
KCBS’ Holly Quan Reports:
Emotions ran high Tuesday night as hundreds packed the Oakland City Council chambers to debate the issue at a Public Safety Committee meeting.
The police chief pointed out that drug-related arrests were down nearly 70 percent in the first six months that an existing injunction was in place. This one targets only 15 men, not the 40 alleged Nortenos that the city attorney is pushing for, but community members debated whether the injunction allows police to terrorize suspected gang members and their families who are already struggling in low-income neighborhoods.
“Schools in the area are under-funded, unemployment rates are high, and there is a lot of violence,” said one woman. “We cannot afford another attack like this one.”
“It doesn’t hurt our constitutional rights and it doesn’t lead to racial profiling,” said another woman.
It’s not clear if the judge will decide Wednesday on the legality of the injunctions.
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