by Dan Brekke and Andrew Stelzer
An Oakland judge has issued an injunction against 38 alleged members of the Norteños gang in the city's Fruitvale neighborhood.
The order. issued this week by Alameda County Superior Court Judge Robert Freedman, places severe restrictions on the daily activities of those named in the injunction, including whom they can meet and what they can wear.
City Council-member Ignacio De Le Fuente said the order will help suppress violent crime in his district. "It's a very detailed order that I think will allow the city and the Police Department to really make a dent."
Gang-injunction critics say the tactic violates civil rights while doing little to curb violence.
"If the goal is to control violence, this tactic doesn't work," defendants' attorney Yolanda Huang said. "All the major studies on gang injunctions have shown that it doesn't work."
The men named in the order can apply to have their names removed from the injunction -- after a wait of one or two years. A three-member panel will consider each application.
Attorney Huang, who represents two of the men named in the order, said the defendants won a concession in that process. "The panel will not have as members anyone from law enforcement," she said. "The defendants will get to choose one member of the panel, the city will appoint one member of the panel and the two together will appoint the third."