What Do YOU Think About the South County Gang Injunctions?

“Nobody… wants gang activity or drug dealing in our neighborhoods,” said Adele Coronado Greely, a founder of CREER [a community advocacy group]. “In the same vein, nobody wants innocent children put on a list that harms their family.”

There has been plenty of controversy about the use of gang injunctions to curb gang violence. It’s been used in large OC cities like Santa Ana and Garden Grove. However, one gang injunction that hasn’t been talked about too much (until now) is the one being enforced down in South Orange County. Specifically, gang injunctions are in place for specific neighborhoods in Mission Viejo, San Juan Capistrano, and San Clemente.

OK, so why is this gang injunction in place in these South County communities? Apparently, gang violence was spiraling out of control and local authorities saw this as the best way to make these areas safe again. So now, there’s a 10 PM to 6 AM curfew in place in these neighborhoods. Also no one’s the identified gang members are not allowed to wear “gang clothing” like a Dallas Cowboys jersey or any shirt with the number “13” on it, and no one can be spotted outside with “tools that can be used for burglary”. According to local authorities, the gang injunction is working and crime is falling in these once dangerous neighborhoods.

However, not everyone is happy about the gang injunction. Some community activists have called the injunctions racist, and critics have said that the injunction has only damaged an already troublesome relationship between the OC SheriffÂ’s Department and residents who say their encounters with deputies are often confrontational. Local authorities have recently met with these community activists, as some in the community think the gang injunction is doing more to target innocent bystanders mistaken as “gangbangers”.

So what do you think about the South County gang injunction? Is it fair? Is it right? Go ahead and have your say.

  6 comments for “What Do YOU Think About the South County Gang Injunctions?

  1. December 21, 2007 at 2:01 pm

    I’ve never met Adele Coronado Greely or Sergio Farias, two of the people quoted in the Register article, but I believe I’ve talked to both of them on the phone and I know of their work. I have great respect for them. I’m inclined to disagree with them in this case, though.

    The area of San Juan in which I live is not gang turf. As a result, my neighbors and I have absolutely no problems with gangs. The people who have problems are those who live in the anti-gang zones.

    A large proportion of the people who live in the anti-gang zones are Latino, and it is they who bear the burden of gang activity. IMO the gang injunctions most help the Latino community of San Juan, which is almost universally law-abiding.

    Gangs have been a terrible problem in San Juan and San Clemente for decades, and it’s a shame law enforcement refused to recognize the issues here for so long. I frankly think the problem was ignored because it was viewed as a Latino-on-Latino issue, and I think ignoring it was more racist than attempting to do something about it.

    I don’t think injunctions alone are a solution to gangs, but apparently they are one piece of the puzzle. I think we show disrespect to our Latino residents when we ignore the source of danger and fear in the neighborhoods in which they live. I welcome these new attempts to help the Latino neighborhoods of San Juan.

    I also salute Greely and Farias for keeping an eye on the way in which law enforcement uses the gang injunctions, as I think formal or informal citizen oversight of law enforcement is a positive activity for community members.

  2. Deputy Dogg
    December 22, 2007 at 2:55 pm

    Just a point of clarification. It isn’t “no one” who can’t wear clothing associated with local gangs etc…The injunction only applies to the limited number of known gang members listed and served with the order.

  3. December 22, 2007 at 4:43 pm

    Good point, Deputy. I updated Andrew’s post.

  4. March 1, 2008 at 12:13 am

    in response to deputy dogg it may be that only gang memebers known on the likst are not to wear clothing associated with local gangs etc… but there still are police officers here in san clemente that still pull people over just because they have a bald head, are latino, and are wearing baggy clothing. I live in san clemente and see it and witness it all the time. and Adele Coronado Greely makes a great point about officers with such a confrontational attitude. And i’ve been looking doing research on what type of gangs have had injunction placed on them and could only find hispanic or a few black gangs served with them. What about the caucsian or asian gangs? why is it only the miority race gangs?

  5. Zeke
    March 3, 2008 at 9:15 pm

    After having worked with at risk youth for the last 25 years, specifically Latino gangs, Asian gangs, Black gangs and Samoan gangs, and after living in San Juan Capistrano for 16 years spending many an afternoon in the so called gang areas of San Juan Capistrano, I have to admit that I find it almost laughable to say San Juan Capistrano has a serious gang problem. Do I understand the concerns of the worried citizenry to keep San Juan Capistrano a safe area free of gang activity? Yes I do, but after examining the crime stats and frequently walking the identified problem neighborhoods, I tend to see the reaction to be leaning more towards xenophobia than the cessation of gang activity. Let’s be cautious to not be overzealous of infringing on the civil rights of our residents.

  6. victim
    March 21, 2008 at 11:39 pm

    well i am one of the lucky ones in the list and i just happen to get out of jail becasue of that i think this injucntion is worthless its not doing nothing the gang keeps geting bigger i thought it would deplete the (varrio) but it hasnt we in two cities
    alratos coo coo

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