Facebook Several Ventura County communities long known for their pristine beaches and family festivals have, in the past decade, taken on a darker image: gang territory. But law enforcement and prosecutors from Ventura to Oxnard, along with authorities in inland communities such as Simi Valley, have made concerted efforts to turn things around. If you ask residents, particularly those who recently moved to Ventura County from nearby gang-infested sections of Los Angeles County, those efforts appear to be working. Lally, an assistant United States attorney in the Violent and Organized Crime Section, who has prosecuted numerous high-profile gang cases.
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The group was comprised of activists, lawyers, educators, artists, youth, parents and other community residents of the Colonia barrio, greater Oxnard and Ventura County. Some of us were witnesses to previous Civil Gang Injunctions that had been imposed in other Southern California communities of color.
All of us had thoroughly read the proposed Oxnard Civil Gang Injunctions language, policies, conditions and restrictions that were to be imposed on the Colonia barrio. The conditions we felt were draconian, racist, hastily conceived, and unconstitutional. After a historic, protracted and hard fought court battle, we lost our legal challenge and the first of two civil gang injunctions were imposed on the Colonia Chiques gang in One year later the second injunction was imposed on the Southside Chiques gang.
Here is the first article on what will be a series of contemporary and timely analyses and commentary on the draconian, ill-conceived and unconstitutional history of Civil Gang injunctions in Southern California, with specific attention paid to the two Oxnard Civil Gang Injunctions that are currently being seriously challenged as unconstitutional in the local courts of Ventura County. What are Civil Gang Injunctions? It seems that the good white people of a community did not know what to do with the newly liberated black slaves.
The city of Chicago passed one of the first national mass control loitering laws; a policing tool to control unruly drunken baseball mobs at Wrigley Field. The Supreme Court would eventually rule this Wrigley Field mob control injunction to be unconstitutional; but the genie was let out of the bottle.
Witness to the genesis and deployment of the Civil Gang Injunctions as a Policing Tool: I have had the historical misfortune of having lived in, experienced and witnessed the full destructive effects of civil gang injunctions in four locations in the San Fernando Valley.
The second gang injunction I witnessed occurred in the public housing projects of Pacoima and Hubert H. According to all available records, testimony and first hand observation, the four aforementioned areas where civil injunctions were instituted, alleged gang related crimes immediately went up and spread out beyond the gang injunction area; property value was decimated, and the quality of life and perceptions of safety markedly deteriorated.
This failure can be clearly observed at both micro and macro levels. The failure fundamentally calls into question the appropriateness and effectiveness of gang injunctions.
The abridgement of some fundamental civil liberties have continually been justified by the supposed certainty of reduction in violent crime and enhancement of public safety. The question is why? In a lawsuit filed against the City of Los Angeles by the American Civil Liberties Union in , the ACLU argued that as written and enforced the current Civil Gang Injunction policies deny due process rights to alleged gang members and as such are unconstitutional.
In Chief U. District Judge Virginia A. Phillips ruled that the city of Los Angles, the city with the most injunctions in the nation had violated the civil rights of accused gang members who were targeted without being given a chance to challenge their gang affiliation status in court.
In the city of Oxnard the Oxnard Police Department decided to stop enforcing injunctions conditions and stipulations against suspected gang members in late or early The decision to suspend gang injunction enforcement has been a tightly kept secret by the OPD.
In July of it is reported that the OPD will report to the City Council on the two current civil gang injunctions in the city, the current constitutional concerns. The OPD will apparently make recommended changes, corrections or modifications to the current civil gang injunction polices that were originally ill-conceived and currently constitutionally suspect.
Which, simply put, means that the Oxnard Police Department and the Ventura County District Attorney have since illegally enjoined hundreds of Latino and Black youth throughout the greater Oxnard area and violated their constitutional due process right. The OPD is furiously backtracking to legally comply with recent court ruling but enormous damage has been done to three generations of Latino and black youth in Oxnard. There is something terribly evil and wrong with this horrifically flawed legal process that sends alleged gang youth to jail for injunction violations and does absolutely nothing punitive to police departments and district attorneys throughout California and Oxnard that have violated the constitutional due process rights of thousands of youth of color for over three decades.
The most immediate, egregious and insidious aspect about the Oxnard Civil Gang Injunction was that in most instances, one cop, the so-called designated Oxnard Civil Gang Injunction Expert, could and did identify gang members in Oxnard.
Again the Oxnard Injunction did not, and presently does not have a legal provision for the alleged gang member to challenge in court the OPD assertion that he was a gang member. That is why the recent decision in by Chief U. In her legal decision Chief U. Phillips held that the city of Los Angeles, with the most injunctions in the nation, had violated the civil rights of accused gang members who were targeted without being given a chance to challenge their gang affiliation status in court.
The Due Process Clause in almost all the Civil Gang Injunctions imposed in California counties and municipalities, that included the Oxnard Injunction, had been conspicuously and summarily omitted. What is Next? It is our duty to fight against the ongoing evil, racist and hypocritical war on crime and all of its ill-conceived manifestations that have been leveled on the communities of color throughout this nation.
Civil Gang Injunctions are one of the most draconian and unconstitutional weapons that have ever been devised by the government to keep large segments of communities of color in continuous, premeditated and perpetual law enforcement control and supervision. The United State has systemically profiled and enslaved more people of color in jail, probation, parole and law enforcement supervision than any other country in the world. It is a national shame and disgrace.
Civil Gang Injunctions are premeditated, illegally-conceived and some of the most punitive policing tools ever deployed in communities of color throughout this nation. After more than three decades of Civil Gang Injunction deployment police departments throughout the United States, which includes Oxnard OPD, are under scathing judicial admonishment and legal reversals.
The racist 40 year war on crime in the United States has squandered billions of tax dollars, and incarcerates more humans than any other country in the world. Armando Vazquez, M. How do they help or serve civility in the communities he mentioned? Charity works, helping the elderly, teaching kids to read and men how to be law abidin, hard working providers for the children they father. Many other ways… Definition of civil 1 a : of or relating to citizens b : of or relating to the state or its citizenry 2 a : civilized.
Southside Chiques injunction upheld
The group was comprised of activists, lawyers, educators, artists, youth, parents and other community residents of the Colonia barrio, greater Oxnard and Ventura County. Some of us were witnesses to previous Civil Gang Injunctions that had been imposed in other Southern California communities of color. All of us had thoroughly read the proposed Oxnard Civil Gang Injunctions language, policies, conditions and restrictions that were to be imposed on the Colonia barrio. The conditions we felt were draconian, racist, hastily conceived, and unconstitutional.
Justice for Oxnard
Early history[ edit ] The area was part of the Chumash region, which extended from Point Conception to Santa Monica and back into the foothills as far as the Coast Range. The rancho , which was commonly spoken of, or was in the rancho days, as the Colonia, extended from the Santa Clara River south to the present day Point Mugu Naval Air Station , or to the boundary of Rancho Guadalasca , and east from the Pacific Ocean to the present day Freeway , or to the boundary of Rancho Santa Clara del Norte. California became a U. Hueneme was founded in by Thomas R.