The ACLU sued the LA Police Department over gang injunctions in order to fight drugs violence and prostitution promoted by gangs.
The gang injunctions were a vital tool in fighting the rising tide of gang violence in the 1990s. But the judge has no ruled that they are illegal and any police officer who violates her ruling will be facing prison.
The judge ruled that the police can now only go after individuals in a gang and not the collective gang.
The ACLU’s senior staff attorney, Peter Bibring, said that Phillips, who was appointed to the California Central District court by former President Bill Clinton in 1999, “clearly recognizes the way the city of Los Angeles has been enforcing gang injunctions over decades violates due process in a way that makes it likely they will place people on gang injunctions who may not be gang members.”
“This ruling marks the end of gang injunctions as they worked in the city of Los Angeles.”
Police officers violating the ruling will reportedly face arrest.
The Los Angeles Police Department released a statement saying they respect the authority of the courts and will follow the court’s decision,” but the Los Angeles police officers’ union heartily criticized the ruling.
The union put out the following message:
“Appropriately applied, gang injunctions are a valuable law enforcement tool intended to improve the safety of Los Angeles neighborhoods and stem the tide of drug dealing, assaults, and other violent crimes associated with gangs,” a spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Protective League said in a statement to the Times. “It’s unfortunate that a judge would eliminate this important crime-fighting tool instead of working to resolve any issues with its application. We urge the city to appeal this shortsighted ruling.
I agree with the police officers, Gangs are so hard to control as it is and by taking away one of their best tools cannot be good.