Gangs unusally target victims, but now the city of Los Angeles is targeting gangs in a lawsuit aimed at getting rid of them
A gang abatement lawsuit was announced Tuesday morning by the city attorney, James Hahn. The street thugs targeted is the Langdon Street Gang –who work the North Hills area.
City Attorney James Hahn said on Tuesday he filed an abatement lawsuit against the Langdon Street Gang to rid the North Hills area of street thugs and the crack cocaine they sell.
Hahn said he filed the lawsuit Friday in Van Nuys Superior Court, but waited until today to announce to protect the security of Los Angeles police officers who have been serving the documents.
Hahn was joined in the 9000 block of Orion Avenue — an area in the heart of the gang’s turf — by Deputy Chief Michael Bostic of the Operations Valley Bureau and LAPD Capt. Joseph Curreri of the Devonshire Area.
“One of the things about a gang injunction is that we have to go to court and show them that we have tried everything else, that traditional law enforcement methods have not been able to totally eradicate the problem,” Hahn said.
The lawsuit names 31 gang members as defendants. Hahn contends those defendants have collectively accounted for 10 percent of all the arrests in the target area over the last two years.
According to the city, the Langdon Street Gang is an unincorporated association engaged in criminal and other activities that constitute a public nuisance, Hahn said.
In documents filed in support of the lawsuit, the gang is described as “a cancer which has survived more than 15 years of law enforcement efforts to excise it from the community, and has infected its host so completely that the residents of the community have become servants to the tumor, at the cost of their freedom, self-determination and liberty.”
If granted, the gang injunction would be the seventh in the city and second in the San Fernando Valley.
It would bar those suspected of being gang members from congregating in public and would impose a 9 p.m.-to-sunrise curfew for them in two rectangular sections of North Hills.
The larger area, which includes the Langdon Avenue Elementary School and the 9000 block of Orion Avenue, is bounded by Nordhoff Street on the north, Sepulveda Boulevard on the east, Roscoe Boulevard on the south and the San Diego (405) Freeway on the west, Hahn said.
He said the other area, which includes James Monroe High School, is bounded by Nordhoff Street on the south, Gloria Avenue on the west, Tupper Street on the north and the San Diego Freeway on the east.
City prosecutors targeted Langdon Street because of three recent gang- related shootings near Monroe High.
Hahn, who plans to run for mayor next year, said the gang is at the center of the rock cocaine trade in the Valley, which is centered in the Sepulveda Corridor in the North Hills area. The gang also allegedly has ties to the Mexican Mafia.
In addition to their cocaine-trafficking activities, Hahn alleged they also extort “rent” from businesses in the neighborhood, and forcibly take control of property at locations where they set up drug-dealing operations.
According to Hahn, 4,060 narcotics arrests made by police over the past two years in the Sepulveda Corridor amounted to more than a third of all the narcotics arrests made throughout the San Fernando Valley during that period.
A hearing on a request for a preliminary injunction is set for May 20 in Dept. A of Van Nuys Superior Court.
Also sought in the injunction are orders barring the defendants from:
– selling, attempting to sell, obtaining, attempting to obtain, possessing or using any controlled substance or related paraphernalia, or being in the presence of anyone engaging in those activities;
– blocking the free passage of any person or vehicle on any street or in any other public area;
– approaching or signaling as a pedestrian any person or vehicle unless a legitimate emergency situation exists;
– being present on private property without the prior written consent of the property’s owner;
– acting as a lookout, whistling, yelling or otherwise signaling with a flashlight, walkie-talkie or other means to warn another person of an approaching law enforcment officer, or soliciting, encouraging or employing others to do so;
If granted, the injunction also would bar the gang members from drinking in a public place, carrying a firearm in a public place, defacing public property and loitering for the purpose of engaging in drug- or graffiti-related activities.