EAST PALO ALTO (CBS SF)_ 16 members of three East Palo Alto street gangs were arraigned on Monday for numerous felony charges that include murder, attempted murder and robbery according to the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office.
The defendants were handed down three separate indictments last week by a San Mateo County Grand Jury on the numerous charges as part of a multi-agency effort called ‘Operation Sunny Day’.
Most of the defendants named are East Palo Alto residents.
“I was serving as an interim police chief in Menlo Park in the summer of 2012 and we attributed probably 12 to 15 homicides to the two main street gangs, the Da Vill and the Taliban, throughout the Bay Area, involved in probably 40 separate shooting incidents,” said East Palo Alto Police Chief Lee Violett.
Defendants also include members of the Sac Street gang based on the Peninsula.
San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe explained that when gang members would successfully engage in completing their murder, they’d report back to one another and say it was “a sunny day in East Palo Alto”.
“That shows the arrogance and cockiness of this group of people,” Wagstaffe said, explaining how the operation was named.