Wide Injunction Sought Against 18th Street Gang

Wide Injunction Sought Against 18th Street Gang
Aug. 04, 1997

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Buoyed by previous victories, police and other officials are seeking another court injunction against members of the notorious 18th Street Gang, this time in the stronghold of its birthplace.

The injunction being sought in Los Angeles Superior Court would cover the Pico-Union area west of downtown – the widest area of any order officials have so far obtained, authorities said.

Under the injunction, at least 50 gang members who are named – and 250 still to be listed – would be prohibited from standing, sitting, walking, gathering or appearing anywhere in groups of three or more in the area.

Police and other officials fanned out this weekend to serve gang members with official notices.

“We are trying to get to the heart of the beast,” said Michael Genelin, who heads the Los Angeles County district attorney’s hard-core gang division.

Last month, a judge approved a similar injunction curbing the activities of 18 gang members in a 17-block area of Jefferson Park, a southwest Los Angeles neighborhood.

Officials are confident that the injunction will be approved. A dozen such orders have already been granted to curb activity in Los Angeles, Inglewood, Burbank, Pasadena, Long Beach and unincorporated portions of the county.

The one-square-mile Pico-Union neighborhood has nearly 28,000 residents, most of them Hispanic, and is one of the poorest and most crime-ridden in the nation, police said.

It’s not a coincidence, police say, that the area also is the birthplace of the 18th Street group, a gang that has grown over the past 30 years.

For several years, the gang has engaged in large-scale drug trafficking and extortion of residents and merchants for everything from protection to parking spots.

“They are terrified of the gangs,” one law enforcement official told the Los Angeles Times. “They know the size of the gang. They know its capabilities. They know it controls the area.”

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