OAKLAND (KCBS)— Oakland’s city attorney confirmed on Thursday that they are dropping its controversial gang injunction with police chief Sean Whent in favor of the move.
The injunctions, which were initially set up over five years ago, targeted a total of over four dozen alleged gang members living in North Oakland, but the majority in the city’s Fruitvale district.
The orders banned the men from being out between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., only allowing exceptions for work, school, religious worship, or commercial entertainment events.
In addition they weren’t allowed to wear certain colors often associated with gangs and could not associate with one another. The injunctions led to several court challenges and resulted in the city footing some hefty legal bills.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported that City Attorney Barbara Parker, who inherited the injunction cases from her predecessor, said the injunction was for the most part successful and that eight of the 40 men were arrested within the injunction zone for crimes ranging from driving under the influence to attempted murder. However, outside the zone, or in other cities, 16 men were arrested for robbery, grand theft and domestic violence.
The Chronicle reported preliminary injunctions against 15 men alleged of being in North Side Oakland Gang in started in 2010. A second injunction was approved in 2012 when Alameda County Superior Court Judge Robert Freedman said the city had shown that 40 men named in the injunction were affiliated with the Fruitvale neighborhood’s Norteno gang.
Attorneys for the defendants criticized Freedman’s decision and said it stigmatizes young Latino men.
Parker told the Chronicle that Police Chief Whent’s department is focusing on other intervention strategies that offer prison, education or job training, rather than the injunctions.
On the same day the announcement to drop the injunctions was made, 16 people police said were involved in two East Oakland gangs were arrested in a series of raids throughout the East Bay.