OAKLAND (CBS 5) — The legality and the effectiveness of gang injunctions are being tested in Oakland. Outgoing City Attorney John Russo named 40 or so gang members in a proposed injunction that covers the cityâs Fruitvale district.
Under the injunction, the individuals named cannot gather in public in the area.READ MORE: Former Theranos Lab Director Continues Testimony
The injunctions have their roots in Southern California in the early 1980s. It was a way for Los Angeles prosecutors to clamp down on what is now considered ânuisanceâ crimes by gangs, such as graffiti and tagging.
University of California Hastings Law Professor Evan Lee said itâs not clear if the injunctions actually reduce crime.
âThe devil is in the details,â said Lee. âThe evidence is kind of on both sides. It is not clear one way or the other. Is this really a success in reducing crime? That is not clear. Is it being abused? That is not clear.âREAD MORE: State Sen. Wiener's Recovery Incentives Act Would Pay Meth Addicts to Stay Sober
Critics have claimed the injunctions lead to racial profiling. Proponents have said the injunctions are a tool the police need to help curb crime.
Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts recently told a packed City Council meeting that he understands the communityâs concerns.
âMy purpose in the City of Oakland is not to hurt you because I grew up in South Central Los Angeles,â said Batts. âI was in a very impoverished environment. I wondered if anybody cared about my life. I am here to share with you as I wear this uniform; I care about the lives in the City of Oakland. I will take the tough stances to ensure that people have civil rights.â
Oaklandâs City Council recently voted to continue more than three quarter of a million dollars in annual funding for the project.MORE NEWS: Lead Utility Regulator Overseeing PG&E Announces Resignation
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