Judge issues preliminary injunction targeting Oakland Nortenos gang members
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OAKLAND, Calif. —
A judge has issued a preliminary injunction against 40 alleged Norteno gang members that bars them from fraternizing in Oakland's Fruitvale District.
Oakland City Attorney Barbara Parker said the ruling by Alameda County Superior Court Judge Robert Freedman essentially concludes a trial that began about a year and a half ago when her office filed suit against the alleged gang members.
Freedman originally issued an injunction last June 24 against five reputed gang members, but he has now added an additional 35 alleged members to the injunction.
His ruling bars the 40 alleged members from hanging out with one another, loitering and possessing guns in a 450-block area in the largely Hispanic Fruitvale District.
The ruling also imposes a curfew between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. and bars members from selling drugs, wearing gang colors and threatening witnesses.
The gang injunction is the second that the city has obtained. In June 2010, Freedman issued an injunction against 15 members of the North Side Oakland gang.
But opponents of the injunction claim it is overly broad and will result in racial profiling of young Latino men.
Yolanda Huang, an attorney who represents the alleged gang members, said, "Judge Freedman's ruling is disappointing but expected given that the court refused to permit the defendants to present evidence that injunctions do not work and actually damage the community."
But Parker said Oakland's two injunctions are different from most other gang injunctions in California.
She said each defendant had the right to contest the lawsuit's claims in court and anyone who leaves the gang can go through an "opt-out" process to seek to removed from the court order.
Parker said the 40 people named in the injunction have a total of nearly 200 adult arrests and at least 106 adult convictions.
She said their convictions include assault with a deadly weapon, robbery, carjacking, selling illegal drugs and gun offenses.
Parker said most of the crimes occurred in the Fruitvale area or were committed against people who live in that area.
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