FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: March 7, 2018
OCDA SEEKS DISMISSAL OF TWO GANG INJUNCTIONS IN PLACENTIA FOLLOWING UNPRECEDENTED DECREASE IN GANG CRIME
SANTA ANA, Calif. – The Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) requested to dismiss two gang injunctions in the city of Placentia today after gang-related crimes in the designated Safety Zones significantly decreased.
“Through our law enforcement partnership, we were able to seek safety for the Placentia community,” said District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. “The OCDA asked to dismiss these two injunctions today because we achieved what we were seeking, which was to dismantle the activities of these gangs.”
In November 2015, preliminary injunctions were granted by Orange County Superior Court Judge Peter Wilson against two rival, violent Placentia criminal street gangs, enjoining them from terrorizing the community and acting as a public nuisance within two Safety Zones. Safety Zone 1 was a 0.70-square mile area located approximately south of Madison Avenue, west of Kraemer Boulevard, north of Crowther Avenue, and east of Placentia Avenue. Safety Zone 1 is comprised of mainly single-family and apartment homes and two large community parks.
Safety Zone 2 was a 0.49-square mile area makes up the other Safety Zone, which is located approximately south of Crowther Avenue, west of Melrose/Blue Gum Street, north of Miraloma Avenue, and east of Placentia Avenue. Safety Zone 2 is comprised of mainly single-family and apartment homes and includes and one large community park.
Between January 2010 and July 2015, criminal activity in the Safety Zones resulted in the documentation and/or arrest of gang members for crimes including: four murders, 44 incidents of gun or dangerous weapon possession, 22 assaults, nine robberies, 10 burglaries or burglary tools, 345 incidents of graffiti or vandalism tools, 85 drug or paraphernalia violations, 205 incidents of associating with other members of the same criminal street gang, eight incidents of intimidation, 65 incidents of alcoholic beverages in public, 38 incidents of wearing gang clothing, 43 curfew violations, four vehicle thefts/carjacking, and 13 incidents of trespassing.
Since the injunctions were issued in 2015, gang-related crimes in the Safety Zones in Placentia have dropped to an unprecedented low. Between December 2016 and December 2017, there were zero robberies, zero shootings from a vehicle, zero assaults with a deadly weapon, zero felon of possession of a firearm, one murder, one attempted murder, and only 14 instances of vandalism compared to 345 in previous years.
Today, as a result of the significant decrease in gang crime in the enjoined areas, the OCDA requested the injunctions be dismissed in the city of Placentia.
What is an injunction?
A gang injunction is a civil order that restricts or prohibits documented enjoined gang members from participating in specific acts or activities that may not be inherently criminal within a designated area, or “Safety Zone.” The terms are designed to curb intimidating or harassing behavior. If an enjoined gang member violates the terms, he or she will be arrested and face prosecution. The case may be prosecuted as a misdemeanor for disobeying a court order and the defendant will be placed on gang probation terms or be sent to jail for up to six months.
This injunction names the gang as the defendant. The gang injunction subjects all enjoined active, documented members to prohibitive terms including a restriction that prohibits any association between members of the gang. Association includes standing, sitting, walking, driving, bicycling, gathering, or appearing anywhere in public or public view with any known member of the gang (except while at school or in church). The terms also maintain that there can be no intimidation, use or sale of drugs, consuming alcohol in public, guns or dangerous weapons, fighting, trespassing, blocking free passage, gang hand signs, gang clothes, burglary tools, or acting as a lookout. In addition, the enjoined gang members must obey all laws. Graffiti and vandalism are also prohibited as graffiti is often used by the gangs in the Safety Zones as a method to intimidate rival gangs, mark their territory, advertise their most recent activities, dissuade residents from going to the police, and denounce police.
Gang members who are enjoined and subject to the terms of the injunction include the most active gang members who are well-documented through personal admission and/or affiliation, association with known gang members, dressing in the style of the gang or having gang tattoos, possessing gang paraphernalia, and/or committing crimes for the benefit of the gang.