Southside Chiques injunction upheld

By Raul Hernandez
Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A court of appeal Monday upheld the gang injunction against the Southside Chiques, the second-largest criminal street gang in Oxnard.

The civil gang injunction, which was issued Oct. 23, 2006, prohibits gang members from engaging in certain conduct within a designated area.

Special Assistant District Attorney Michael Schwartz said prosecutors are pleased that the justices of the California Court of Appeal, 2nd District, Division 6, upheld the injunction.

Earlier this year, the California Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of the civil injunction against the Colonia Chiques criminal street gang, which is the largest gang in Oxnard.

“This is the second case that a court of appeal has affirmed a gang injunction that our office has obtained against criminal street gangs in Oxnard,” Schwartz said Tuesday. “I think it affirms the validity of using injunctions to help protect the community against street gangs.”

Prosecutors say the Southside Chiques is active in Oxnard and Port Hueneme and has about 200 members.

Under the terms of the civil gang injunction, gang members are prohibited from certain behavior, including associating with other gang members, possessing weapons or drugs, publicly consuming alcohol or violating other laws in so-called safety zones.

The Southside Chiques injunction covers a 4.26-square-mile safety zone, some of which overlaps the existing 6.6-square-mile Colonia Chiques safety zone.

In making its Southside Chiques ruling, the justices rejected the argument that an individual who denied being a member of the gang should have been permitted to participate in the Ventura County Superior Court proceedings.

Critics of the gang injunctions say law enforcement already has all the tools it needs to fight crime. They argue that social programs are better long-term solutions.

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