Video: Witness LAPD attempting to enforce a gang injunction
By Alex Alonso for Streetgangs.com
February 14, 2010
Gang injunctions have become a regular suppression tool that the City of Los Angeles and other Los Angeles County jurisdictions have been using since the California Supreme Court narrowly upheld them in a 1997 decision. To date, there have not been any long term studies that have evaluated their effectiveness since the first large scale gang injunction in 1987 against the Play Boy Gangster Crips. Although empirical evidence measuring their success are non-existent, city officials have touted them as crime reducing strategies. The City of Los Angeles, and the LAPD have made countless correlations between gang injunctions and crime reduction, but their anecdotal claims do not reach the standard of any credible statistical analysis.
The video footage here is perhaps the first footage ever captured that shows LAPD officers attempting to arrest a group of alleged gang members in violation of the “association clause” in a typical gang injunction. The gang officer Bryan Thayer claims that there were at least 10 gang members in the park that were subject to arrest, but no arrests were actually made. From my observations there was no way that there were actually 10 gang members in the video that any logical person would define as a gang member, but law enforcement uses a more vague definition, that can label youth who associate with gang members. But when you live in places like the Jungles, everyone associates with everyone else, especially at a park where people come together to socialize, so it is common for a non-gang member to be close friends with a gang member, considering they attended elementary school together and their families are neighbors.
In the gang injunction against the Hawaiian Gardens, nine defendants were removed off that injunction to date, for being mis-identified as gang members, and unfortunately the Judges who approve these orders do not require a standard that prevents non-gang membesr and youth who have never been convicted of a crime from being labeled as a gang member and being served an injunction.
In 2008, Los Angeles pursued a gang injunction against the San Fers gang in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles. Even though this community had seen crimes rates drop for seven straight years (2001-2007), they still blamed the 900 member gang for everything negative in this community, in the face of evidence that pointed to non-gang members responsible for 60 percent of the crime in that area. When crime continued to drop, the gang injunction was now being falsely attributed for the drop.
In 2006, Judge David Yaffe approved a request to enjoin the gang members in the Jungles, a neighborhood in South LA where the Black P Stones are located. The injunction gives broad powers to the LAPD that allows them to search, frisk, detain, photograph, arrest, and question any person that they “suspect” to be a gang member. Officer Brian Thayer, known in the Jungles as Jackie Chan, is a gang cop that works the Baldwin Village area.
The goal of the injunction is in their words to “shut down the gang” but several years later the gang is still there and they are still warring with the 18th Street gang. Even after the FBI came in under “Operation Stone Cold” the community is still plagued with ongoing social challenges that limits the opportunities for young people growing up here fueling gang maintenance.
The injunction, for many, allows the police to legally harass people, youth and young adults. Being under this court order allows the police to treat an individual as if they were on parole without having committed a crime.
Tags: baldwin hills, Baldwin Village, black p stone, bloods, Crips, gang injunction, Lil Jay