By Frank Castro
Frank Castro is a board member of Make Oakland Better Now!
On Tuesday evening, May 17th, at or soon after 6:30 p.m., the Oakland City Council will consider possible defunding of Oakland’s gang injunctions. Make Oakland Better Now! supports their continued funding and will urge Council to continue that funding..
On June 2, 2010, Superior Court Judge Freedman granted the City’s request for a gang injunction in North Oakland. The injunction targeted 15 individuals with long histories of major criminal activity including armed robberies, carjackings and drug sales. The court only granted the injunction after a full hearing where each individual was afforded his due process rights. This same process is now being utilized in the Fruitvale area, as the City Attorney’s office seeks an injunction against 40 specific members of the Norteños gang.
MOBN! wholeheartedly supports the members of the City Council who stand in favor of continuing the funding for gang injunctions. We believe that the City Council’s decision should be guided by careful thought and deliberation, not by fear and vitriol. These injunctions will not result in racial profiling and they will not violate any one’s rights. Instead, the injunctions have been narrowly tailored and only apply to specified individuals.
Gang injunctions are only one tool that should be made available to our police department (and residents) to suppress crime in Oakland. Every effort should be made to allow the gang injunctions time to succeed.
Please join us on Tuesday as we urge City Council to support the continued funding of gang injunctions.