D.A.-City Attorney Seek Injunction Against Street Gang In Nickerson Gardens Area
D.A.-City Attorney Seek Injunction Against
Street Gang In Nickerson Gardens Area
August 28, 2003
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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LOS ANGELES - District Attorney Steve Cooley and City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo announced today that they have asked the Los Angeles Superior Court to enjoin the Bounty Hunters street gang from terrorizing residents in the Nickerson Gardens project area.
The lawsuit, filed earlier this week, is a departure from other similar requests for injunctions against street gangs around the county, Cooley said. In prior lawsuits, the court has been asked to enjoin named members of a gang from various activities. In this lawsuit, although 16 gang members are named as targets, the gang itself was sued as an unincorporated association.
“The goal of law enforcement is to protect our residents. Injunctions are a tool that has proven effective in reducing and preventing crime,” Cooley said in prepared remarks.
“We file these lawsuits because it is our collective responsibility in the criminal justice system to assist the community in finding peace,” he added.
In the lawsuit filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, it was alleged there has been little peace for the residents of nearly half-square-mile area bounded by 108th Street on the north, Central Avenue on the west, Imperial Highway on the south and the Metro Blue Line on the east. The gang has operated in the area for the last 30 years and the civil complaint alleged that members have committed crimes ranging from attempted murder to urinating in public.
Intimidation of residents is the tactic the gang uses to maintain control, according to court documents, and the community’s “helplessness to stop the Bounty Hunters only serves to encourage the gang members to continue their criminal and nuisance activities.”
“This cycle of fear and violence cannot, and should not, continue,” the lawsuit stated.
The court was asked to enjoin the gang and its members from:
- Associating with each other in public, except at school or at church.
- Intimidating victims or witnesses of Bounty Hunters activity.
- Possessing guns or illegal weapons.
- Using or being around drugs or those using drugs.
- Using lookouts.
- Using “hooks” (approaching, signaling or otherwise attracting another person for drug sales, or soliciting someone else to be a “hook.”)
- Obstructing traffic.
- Blocking parking.
- Drinking alcohol in public.
- Doing graffiti or being in possession of “vandalism tools” such as spray paint and felt-tip markers.
- Gambling in public view.
Gang injunctions have been used successfully throughout the county by the District Attorney, the Los Angeles City Attorney and municipalities against street toughs from Long Beach to the San Fernando Valley. The civil lawsuits are filed as abatement actions against public nuisances – at least up until the current lawsuit – who are identified as named members of street gangs accused of terrorizing specific areas of a community.