ACLU Fights Limits on Gang Members
February 14, 2001 — ACLU Fights Limits on Gang Members
SAN DIEGO, CA — The local American Civil Liberties Union on Tuesday made another challenge to widely used injunctions that bar alleged gang members from legal activities, the Associated Press reported.
According to the AP, a federal appeals court was asked to make it more difficult for prosecutors to obtain the injunctions that prohibit alleged gangsters from associating with each other, wearing certain clothing, or using gang hand symbols and signals.
The request came in a legal challenge filed by the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial counties.
The ACLU is representing David Englebrecht of Oceanside, who was included in an injunction against 28 members of a gang in that city’s Posole neighborhood. He said it prevented him from being seen in public with some of his relatives or speaking on the street with friends he’s known since childhood.
The ACLU argues that such restrictions violate the Constitution and can be applied legally only after a jury trial, because they impose significant limits on someone’s personal liberties.
The three-member panel of the 4th District Court of Appeal did not indicate when it might rule on the challenge. The state Supreme Court has upheld the injunctions, which are used statewide.
Prosecutors have obtained injunctions against 38 alleged gangs in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose and other cities. They oppose any new limits on what they see as a valuable tool.
Violators can face a misdemeanor charge of ignoring a court order.
Source: Associated Press, February 14, 2001