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Gang Injunction Aired at Council

Police Chief Responds to Pointed Criticisms from Public


Thursday, March 21, 2013
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Two years after Santa Barbara Police Chief Cam Sanchez first unveiled his proposal for a gang injunction, the Santa Barbara City Council finally held its first public discussion ​— ​however partial, accidental, and indirect ​— ​of what’s becoming an increasingly contentious issue. The gang injunction was initially broached during the public comment period; several activists with the organization PODER objected that the council had never held a public hearing on the proposal. It came up again after Sanchez gave his regularly scheduled monthly address to the City Council; another member of PODER argued that the council would do better to invest more in gang prevention and intervention programs than in an injunction.

While the back-and-forth was far from thorough, Sanchez highlighted the number of youth sports and recreation programs offered by the Police Department. “We do not need more programs,” he insisted. “It comes down to choices; we can’t force these young people to go to these programs.” One activist challenged the chief to explain what the injunction would allow police officers to do that they can’t do already. Sanchez left that question to City Attorney Steve Wiley to answer but elaborated that Spanish-speaking parents have complained that police are not doing enough to keep their children safe from gang recruitment and that “100 percent of the crimes” committed by gang members are committed against Latinos. “What do you want me to do?” he demanded. Wiley added that the injunction targets 30 adult members of rival neighborhood gangs, bars them from associating with one another in public, and prohibits them from attending the Fiesta parade or going to the beach on the Fourth of July, flash points for gang confrontations.

Wiley expressed frustration with the slow pace of the gang injunction court proceedings, explaining that Judge Thomas Adams just delayed a long-awaited ruling on the admissibility of juvenile criminal records. Adams has delayed issuing his ruling for six months to date, Wiley said, and this Tuesday he announced he would delay it a month longer. Whatever the outcome, Wiley predicted it would all but certainly be appealed, a process that he said will last another two years. Councilmember Grant House urged the chief to respond to some of the questions raised by the injunction skeptics but did not weigh in on the merits. Councilmember Cathy Murillo ​— ​the injunction’s sole opponent on the council ​— ​expressed frustration that the council had not held public hearings on so important an issue and demanded a regular accounting on how much public money has been spent on pursuing the injunction’s implementation. “This is a lot of public money, and what are we getting for it?” she asked.

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"Spanish-speaking parents have complained that police are not doing enough to keep their children safe from gang recruitment and that “100 percent of the crimes” committed by gang members are committed against Latinos", the truth is that the Gang bangers are Latino's who commit crimes against their own, just like the Inner City black gangs were made up of black youth who committed crimes mostly against blacks in the neighborhood.
This demand for the City Police to keep the Latino children from joining gangs is a Crock! The prevention starts and ends in the Home where either your ignore your child's activities or you rely on the Police, in this case the Police are taking an active part in putting your child in Juvenile Detention or Jail but as PARENT'S, you have already FAILED them when you lost time spending with them and giving them an option other than Gangs that is made up of their classmates and people they were left to care for them, your complaints are frivolous because you gave them only one option to join.

dou4now (anonymous profile)
March 21, 2013 at 5:34 a.m. (Suggest removal)

a lot of those parents need help to keep their offspring on the straight and narrow as most of them are working multiple jobs in order to pay bills.

i give the Spanish speaking parents props in acknowledging their problem and the reach out to the police.

the foot dragging in implementing this injunction is a head scratcher.

lawdy (anonymous profile)
March 21, 2013 at 9:37 a.m. (Suggest removal)

People who expect our already overloaded police force to prevent their children from joining gangs must have a misplaced sense of entitlement. As do those who expect the over worked school system to discipline their children. Teachers are paid to teach. Police are paid to protect our community. Discipline, showing examples and setting boundaries begins at home. Parents who shirk these responsibilities clearly are not doing their job.

samuel (anonymous profile)
March 21, 2013 at 10:41 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Truly a head scratcher. Seems the honorable Colleen Sterne was worried about violating these winners rights and some one has made a career out of reviewing each of the gang bangers (27 of 30) records as minors. In the mean time, how many more young people will be corrupted, taken off the path of the straight and narrow or worse beaten, or killed.
More than a minor scratcher, it is a serious case of dandruff.

bimboteskie (anonymous profile)
March 21, 2013 at 12:09 p.m. (Suggest removal)

you need to keep an eye on the ankle-biters immediately, keep your ear to the ground as they grow.....the parents cannot let themselves be elbowed aside by the gangs.. and certainly the limp-wristed efforts by the judge leave the police without much of a leg to stand on.

who nose how long this will take.

lawdy (anonymous profile)
March 21, 2013 at 12:26 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I didn't know George Ied was a Latino, I didnt know Robert Simpson was a Latino but I guess according to PODER they are part of the 100%. And we don't offer enough babysitting, youth programs even if they don't choose to join thanks for clearing that up.

Who on the council supports these BS artists? I'm not a huge Cam fan but he should have just shut them down and called out Murillo at the same time.

pointssouth (anonymous profile)
March 21, 2013 at 3:22 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Thank you Cathy Murillo for standing up for civil rights and more effective strategies.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
March 21, 2013 at 4:59 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Ken I suppose you agree with PODER, btw how is it unconstitutional? The courts and judges who have upheld numerous injunctions don't seem to agree with you or Kathy but please explain.

pointssouth (anonymous profile)
March 21, 2013 at 5:26 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Freedom to assembly.
Any group of people can be labelled a gang. The SB Taxpayer's Association for example operates like a gang but I don't seen an injunction against them.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
March 21, 2013 at 5:33 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Freedom of Speech - but you can't shout fire in a crowded theater, some people by their own actions can forfeit those rights and have them infringed upon for the safety of society. Like I said Ken actual legal minds and courts have upheld injunctions all the way up to the Federal level so it would appear they are not unconstitutional.

pointssouth (anonymous profile)
March 21, 2013 at 5:57 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Don't create conditions in which gangs are an alternative and you won't have these issues.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
March 21, 2013 at 6:06 p.m. (Suggest removal)

OK people, here's the deal: When you import people who you see as expendable cogs in a machine designed to serve the wants (not needs) of the ruling elite, this is what happens.

France blew up c.2005 when Muslim immigrants were setting fires all over the place. People blamed it on their culture, but once again, people exploited then expected not to get angry and resentful. Sweden is having lots of problems too.

The root is at the immigration policy where people are told to come here, but encouraged NOT to assimilate. Why is this issue being avoided.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
March 21, 2013 at 8:36 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Well Cathy, we know what we have gotten from all of the social spending in this area; a massive gang problem, so much for your supposed fiscal responsibility.
KV, please move on from the unconstitutional argument. It's not. The courts have confirmed that it IS CONSTITUTIONAL. Yea, I think the Patriot Act should be unconstitutional but it too has been ruled otherwise so I'm no longer harping about that angle.
Mexicans are now asking the police to raise their kids? That's a new one and I am laughing out loud...
I cannot believe I am in agreement with our pathetic Chief of Police.

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
March 22, 2013 at 2:37 p.m. (Suggest removal)