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<b>TOUGH SALE:</b>  What City Attorney Steve Wiley was selling regarding the merits of the proposed gang injunction, none of the people packing the City Council chambers were buying.

Paul Wellman

TOUGH SALE: What City Attorney Steve Wiley was selling regarding the merits of the proposed gang injunction, none of the people packing the City Council chambers were buying.


Heated Debate Over Gang Injunction

Blank Check, Slippery Slope, or Another Tool in Toolbox?


Thursday, May 16, 2013
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More than two years after City Hall took its first legal step to enact a gang injunction, the Santa Barbara City Council held its first public hearing to discuss the matter, drawing a spirited, boisterous, combative, and often offended crowd that far exceeded the holding capacity of the council chambers. Not one member of the public spoke in favor of the proposed injunction ​— ​which, as written, would significantly limit the rights of 30 alleged adult gang members from associating in public with other gang members.

Many of those who spoke argued Santa Barbara would be far better served if City Hall did more to address the core reasons why young people join gangs​ — ​poverty, educational inequities, lack of opportunity — rather than expend limited resources on expanding police powers for further gang suppression and locking up young Latinos. They included a Harvard-educated UCSB professor; young Latino males claiming they’re already profiled and stopped by police with no probable cause; Brown Beret activists coming from Santa Paula; a retired Episcopalian minister; the wife of one of the 30 defendants named in the proposed gang injunction, reading a letter written by her husband explaining how he’s changed; another gang-injunction defendant himself; scores of activists with Latino-rights organizations like CAUSE and PODER; young men associated with Mi Palabra, a gang-intervention program; longtime community agitators with the ACLU; newly arrived student activists attending City College; an intervention specialist from Oxnard; and the proverbial many, many more.

Others expressed anger the council waited two years before consulting with the public on so charged an issue. Daraka Larimore-Hall, chair of the Democratic Central Committee, noted with outraged sarcasm that the council spent far more time in public deliberations over the fate of BevMo! when it was first proposed yet effectively excluded any public input prior to embracing the proposed injunction behind closed doors. “The reason to listen to the people before the train has left the station,” he stated, “is to make sure it’s heading in the right direction.”

Such rhetorical flourishes notwithstanding, Santa Barbara Police Chief Cam Sanchez remained convinced that the proposed injunction remained “a useful tool in the toolbox” of gang suppression. In the past 24 hours, the chief stated, Santa Barbara had been rocked by two incidents of gang violence. On Monday, a 19-year-old gang member was stabbed twice ​— ​though not fatally ​— ​in the back on East Gutierrez Street. The following day, Sanchez added, there was what he described as a likely gang-related shooting by the Taco Bell on Milpas Street. Although no one was injured from the gunfire, Sanchez objected, “There are innocent people walking down the street.” (Police spokesperson Sergeant Riley Harwood confirmed that the stabbing victim was a known gang member, but he said no arrests had been made in connection with the shooting incident.) Sanchez also noted that in the past 21 years, 16 people have been killed in Santa Barbara because of gang violence. Four of those victims, he added, were not gang members. The gang injunction would help keep the community safer, he argued, by limiting the access of veteran gang members to potential new recruits.

Tuesday’s hearing on the gang injunction was informational only. No vote took place. Of all the councilmembers, only Grant House expressed any change of mind. Just earlier that day, House had expressed strong support for the injunction, arguing Latino parents needed help keeping “bullies” and gang members away from their kids. But by the evening’s end, House ​— ​whose term expires this year ​— ​expressed concern that the injunction might do more harm than good, sowing alienation and suspicion among the community upon which the police department must rely to be effective. He asked whether it was still legally possible to pull the plug on the proposal if a majority of the council wished to do so. The answer, he was told, is yes. But the votes were clearly not there to change course. The only other councilmember against the injunction is Cathy Murillo. Mayor Helene Schneider and the rest of the councilmembers either affirmed their support or silently endured the barrage of critical commentary. If the anti-injunction contingent failed to change the council’s collective mind, they successfully elicited repeated pledges from City Attorney Steve Wiley not to expand the scope of the proposal beyond what’s now on the table.

Click to enlarge photo

Paul Wellman

For years, Chief Sanchez had opposed any suggestion that Santa Barbara needed a gang injunction. He changed his mind a few years ago, after a spate of gang-related killings, beginning with the stabbing death of a 15-year-old at the hands of a 14-year-old in front of Saks Fifth Avenue in 2007. Three high-profile deaths of non–gang members came in quick succession afterward, prompting Sanchez and City Attorney Steve Wiley to reconsider.

(Where Sanchez spoke movingly about having attended the funerals of teens slain in gang violence — and the freshness of gang violence — numbers provided by the county Probation Department tell another story. In the past five years, juvenile crime and gang-related incarceration have dropped to a 10-year low throughout the county. The number of juveniles on the South Coast serving out gang-related terms and conditions as part of their probation has dropped by fully one-third. The number of juveniles who either pleaded guilty to or were found guilty of felony charges dropped to the lowest level since 2005 in 2011, and the same holds true for violent offenses. In fact, the overall number of cases referred to County Probation has dropped by 44 percent in the past five years.)

Wiley and Sanchez set out to initiate a new legal action that would name specific gang members ​— ​“30 gang thugs,” Wiley repeatedly called them ​— ​and would bar them from associating with other gang members in public “Safety Zones” like schools and parks. Enjoined gang members would not be allowed to drive together in the same car ​— ​especially on excursions into rival territory. They would also be prohibited from going to Fourth of July festivities along the waterfront or El Mercado during Fiesta. Violators of the injunction could be found guilty of contempt of court and face civil penalties of $500 fines or five days behind bars.

When Wiley filed his first legal documents, he also included legal language that would allow him to add up to 300 “John Does” at a later date. This, more than any single detail, generated concern that the injunction could creep, spread, and expand far beyond the 30 “worst of the worst” initially named. For community activists concerned about ethnic profiling, this was the smoking gun that City Hall would be targeting Latino males sporting short hair and wearing baggy pants and plaid shirts. One speaker said the John Doe proviso was a “blank check” and not just “another tool in the toolbox.” As such, he said, it constituted a “bait-and-switch.”

Wiley stressed repeatedly the inclusion of John Does was an inconsequential legal formality common to all civil filings and that he had absolutely no intention of amending the list of the individuals named. As a matter of practice, he said, the Does would be eliminated from the filing once the injunction trial starts. He also stressed that he could not ​— ​as a matter of law ​— ​include anyone under the age of 18 in the current complaint. Of the 30 named, he elaborated, 28 had extensive felony records. About 15 were either in state prison or county jail. All were adults. (Attorney Tara Holland-Ford, who represents one of the “worst of the worst,” disputed that Wiley was legally precluded from filing against juveniles and said that he had told her at a meeting shortly after the injunction was filed that he intended to do that. Likewise, she took exception to Wiley’s contention that any of the 30 could “opt out” of the action simply by renouncing any gang affiliation. Ford stated that the injunction language Wiley proposed would not allow the opt-out clause until three years after the injunction took place.)

Wiley also disputed many of the claims made by critics that the injunction would allow law enforcement to take action if two or more of the enjoined gang members happened to be riding a bus together, attending class together, or taking their children to school at the same time. Wiley said such concerns were unwarranted and that he would never seek such broad authority because “it would be stupid” to ask. Judge Colleen Sterne, he said, would never grant it anyway. She would ask, he said, “What are you doing? Why are you wasting my time?”

For the time being, however, the proposed injunction remains suspended in legal limbo, where it’s been hung up for the past 18 months. To make the case that the 30 named defendants are actually gang members, Wiley sought to use police records dating back to when they were juveniles. Juvenile records are highly confidential, and the extent to which Wiley ​— ​who is working in conjunction with Hilary Dozer of the District Attorney’s Office ​— ​can have access to those records has become the focus of a prolonged secondary legal battle. It’s up to Judge Thomas Adams, who handles juvenile cases, to determine how much access, if any at all, Wiley and Dozer can have to those records. A ruling by Adams on that dispute should be coming soon. After that, it will be up to Judge Sterne to determine whether the injunction is justified, whether there’s sufficient evidence to enjoin the 30 parties named, and exactly what behaviors the injunction should and should not limit.

Nearly 50 people spoke Tuesday night. Some were eloquent, some mumbled. All were against it. None of the parents who asked the chief and other councilmembers for help keeping their kids out of gangs showed up. Councilmember Bendy White ​— ​who, along with Mayor Schneider, asked that the hearing take place ​— ​stood by Chief Sanchez but said he was struck by the “real hit of anger and frustration” in the room and the need to deal with it “in a constructive way.” Councilmember Murillo insisted that prevention and intervention were called for, not polarization. Councilmember House said he worried that the injunction would promote “targeting, stereotyping, and labeling” and undermine the considerable good will Chief Sanchez has compiled over the years through community outreach.

The mayor expressed hope that the meeting helped clear up many of the misconceptions about the proposed injunction and suggested that both sides wanted the same thing. Schneider noted that City Hall had been steadfast in its financial support to nonprofits ​— ​$700,000 per year ​— ​during the recession, many of which deal with at-risk teens. The city’s Parks and Recreation Department, she said, spends $2 million per year on programs serving underserved kids, and if young Latino males are being harassed by police because of their clothes, she said, that’s an issue that needs to be addressed regardless of the injunction.

Comments

Independent Discussion Guidelines

Photo caption: "All eyes were on the giant bird that was flying around the auditorium".

billclausen (anonymous profile)
May 16, 2013 at 1:08 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The City Attorney and DA are rolling the dice with the value of my home for the sake of 30 gang members, 15 of whom are already in jail or prison. And the City Council says the train has left the station. Outrageous!
This is about the property rights of thousands of homeowners within the proposed nuisance area.
If your home or business is in the zone you will need to tell prospective buyers, my property is in a zone that was determined by a judge to be a nuisance area because we live in constant fear of gang members. That is not a good selling point.
If the injunction is such a great thing, why aren't owners of property outside the zone begging to have their neighborhoods included in the nuisance area?

Review (anonymous profile)
May 16, 2013 at 1:09 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Yes, I know that was a ridiculous comment, but not as ridiculous as believing the gang injunction is going to solve the underlying problem.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
May 16, 2013 at 1:09 a.m. (Suggest removal)

What next, water boarding suspected gang members? Dress code enforcement? Symbols sewn onto our clothing denoting what group we belong to?

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 16, 2013 at 1:17 a.m. (Suggest removal)

"Wiley stressed repeatedly the inclusion of John Does was an inconsequential legal formality common to all civil filings and that he had absolutely no intention of amending the list of the individuals named. As a matter of practice, he said, the Does would be eliminated from the filing once the injunction trial starts."

ALL THIS TIME AND MONEY FOR ONLY THE 30 NAMED PERSONS, half or more of whom already are incarcerated.
Ending this boondoggle would almost pay for the pensions problem itself.

John_Adams (anonymous profile)
May 16, 2013 at 6:40 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Godwin's Law in 4 posts. Great job everybody.

eightdolphins (anonymous profile)
May 16, 2013 at 9:21 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Wouldn't it be easier to tag and number the gangmembers ears like wild animals caught in neighborhoods?

There is a gang injuction in Canoga Park, SF Valley against a multi-generational gang into auto thefts. Sorry to shock you, but it works if used as a tool. If caught, they face tougher sentencing which discourages them and their younger siblings.

jshir (anonymous profile)
May 16, 2013 at 9:56 a.m. (Suggest removal)

So its okay to have a sex offender database, and keep them away from schools and places where children congregate even after they finish their prison terms but it is not okay for violent gang members living in neighborhoods?

Correct me if I'm wrong but to "earn" a spot on the list you have to have committed multiple felonies with a pattern of behavior correct?

And John_Adams since the citys own numbers say they have a $267,000,000.00 unfunded pension problem I don't think the money spent on this would solve it.

pointssouth (anonymous profile)
May 16, 2013 at 10:30 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The property value comment is about as self serving as it gets. It is about a little more than property values. It is about the safety of the community and the PD that have to patrol these areas. Seems to me if people thought a little bit more than outside of their own little box, they may come to realize that over time the almighty property value may go up (if that is what is really all about) by being in the inclusion zone. Regarding the meeting itself, who were these people? The Injunctee’s parents or relatives? I mean who wants to get up in front of this crowd (all wearing the same shirts) and say "I am for the injunction". No thanks, this town is too small. Hopefully all of the City Council will take this into consideration before reconsidering.

bimboteskie (anonymous profile)
May 16, 2013 at 11:39 a.m. (Suggest removal)

As usual the "there's a boogeyman in my soup" crowd has arrived. The same people who were all too happy to tear up the bill of rights because a few cultists hijacked some planes and crashed them.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 16, 2013 at 11:39 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Notice that the most strident advocates of the injunction are all up for re-election or are expected to run for another office?

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 16, 2013 at 12:04 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Ken I realize you like to fall back on reactionary rhetoric in many responses but most of your comments are usually rooted in some sensible points.

Your analogy doesn't really makes sense however since the people named in the injunction have through their own actions which seems to be felonies incorporating violence put them on the list. The TSA restrictions impact everyone who chooses to travel. Apple vs Oranges and all that...

Does society have a right to place some restrictions on people who commit sexual crimes against children? If so why not a gang member with a history of violent felonies? At least the gang member can eventually get off the list if they don't continue to be a a@#$%&e at some point the ways its designed.

pointssouth (anonymous profile)
May 16, 2013 at 12:20 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I do question the use though of if someone is in prison or going for a extended period why place them on the list and spend money defending the right to list those individuals at this time. That seems to be misguided especially considering the same restriction could be added as a probation term at release.

pointssouth (anonymous profile)
May 16, 2013 at 12:28 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Let me make it even more simplified then for you pointssouth and perhaps your fantasies of reality being rhetoric may fade.
A bunch of people who's jobs depend upon scaring are trying to scare you and you're taking the bait.
Nit pick that.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 16, 2013 at 12:28 p.m. (Suggest removal)

So by your own new post pointssouth does this not seem like political grandstanding to you? It is the beginning of a new city council/mayor campaign you know..

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 16, 2013 at 12:33 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Gee why not put it up for a vote by the people who live in the area during the next election? I know that's just plain CRAZYTALK!

bimboteskie (anonymous profile)
May 16, 2013 at 1:05 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I only see upside to a gang injunction.

quit wanking and bring it.

lawdy (anonymous profile)
May 16, 2013 at 1:09 p.m. (Suggest removal)

bimbophrenia

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 16, 2013 at 1:17 p.m. (Suggest removal)

But at least Bimbo's idea approaches Democracy. Who is Dale Francisco to decide who can live in Santa Barbara, what clothes they can wear and to whom they can consensually associate with?

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 16, 2013 at 1:20 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Police officers are not required to have "probable cause" in order to stop and talk to any person. Always nice to have a valid explanation if challenged but no specific reason for a contact is required.

Eliminating gang activity isn't going to happen any more than wasting millions of dollars fighting a "drug war" is going to eliminate drug use. You can't eliminate "stupid;" and there are too many stupid people in our city from various backgrounds that choose to involve themselves in both drug and gang activities.

Quote from the article: "young Latino males claiming they’re already profiled and stopped by police with no probable cause." If Latino's are the primary race of person(s) involved in gang activity in this city, doesn't it make sense that police will be stopping people of this race they are concerned about? I suspect if the little Latino morons involved in gang activity were to discontinue this type of activity, police contact with Latino's would drop significantly.

What percent of gang related crimes involve Latino's in this city? What's the percentage of blacks involved in gang activity, how about orientals?

Police picking on Latino's? I seriously doubt it. For the most part, police deal with the people (whatever they are) presenting the problems. If many Latino's are whining about the police I suspect it is because many Latino's are likely a problem for the citizens of this city and the police. Will a gang injunction will slow down the gang problem? Maybe, but I wouldn't bet on it. Like the chief said, "it's a tool." It will help but it won't solve the problem.

Quote from the article: "why young people join gangs​ — ​poverty, educational inequities, lack of opportunity." What a crock of BS! A person may be poor but that does not prevent them from receiving a decent education (if they perform as expected in school); and for the most part we all have the same opportunities in this country. Why are so many entering our country, legally and illegally? Don't see many people swimming east across the Rio Grande! Are there not Americans that are required to pay higher tuition fees at some colleges than some "illegals" pay? I didn't read much about the parents role in dealing with their children? Aren't the parents suppose to be setting the standard for the children to follow, imposing discipline as needed?

Wow. A Harvard educated, activist UCSB professor getting involved. If he is as educated as Obama you might want to try reaching out to someone else.

whatsinsb (anonymous profile)
May 16, 2013 at 3:54 p.m. (Suggest removal)

There's a lot of white and Asian guys in gangs as well as women.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 16, 2013 at 4:08 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I agree Ken, there are many different races involved. My question is, which race of people have the highest percentage of involvement in gang activity? Based on my experience I will guess it's the Latino's and specifically the Mexicans. Same with drug issues.

Regarding the woman whose husband was incarcerated and wrote the letter "explaining how he's changed." I believe there are some, very few, but some criminals that make a positive change in prison. I suspect the numbers aren't very high.

To add another twist to a person changing while incarcerated and educating our children. Schools and prisons are both government institutions. Strange that our children can't read the bible in our schools, but reading of the bible and learning about religion is encouraged in prisons?

Never too late for that "come to Jesus moment" but I wonder how much difference some religious education at an earlier age might help in avoiding the gang problem.

whatsinsb (anonymous profile)
May 16, 2013 at 5:10 p.m. (Suggest removal)

First of all, Hispanics are the majority in SB now, so wouldn't it make more sense that they would have more people involved in crime? Even then, blacks aren't a majority in CA or in the country, yet they are the majority in prison, so if we go by that little fact does that make all blacks good for nothing criminals? And since the majority of white collar crimes are committed by whites and have a bigger impact on society should we pass laws against white collar criminals who are white? I don't know but I thought one should be penalized for crimes they have committed, not crimes that they might commit.

AZ2SB (anonymous profile)
May 16, 2013 at 8:11 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I wish I could get paid for work I might do if I can be punished for a crime I might commit based on my appearance.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 16, 2013 at 8:13 p.m. (Suggest removal)

BTW, just like sexual offenders, there are bigger penalties for repeat offenders, such as the three strikes law, and the SHO (serious habitual offender) program https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publication...
http://www.sbsdk12.org/board/attachme...

AZ2SB (anonymous profile)
May 16, 2013 at 9:27 p.m. (Suggest removal)

One of you accuses me of being "self-serving" because I am outraged that the nuisance zone will cost me thousands of dollars in lost property value.
Well obviously that is correct. I care how much my home is worth. That is self-serving. But, let me guess, you don't own real estate in the proposed nuisance area.
You write I should consider that the property value "may" increase in the future. Exactly correct here too. I have considered that, and I don't want to speculate on an untested scheme. The nuisance designation has no end date.
Usually, when the government takes something from a property owner, the owner gets a chance to respond first--a day in court before the property is condemned for the benefit of the larger community.
That is all I want. My chance to say, my neighborhood is not a nuisance; to say, draw your map differently. Instead, only the alleged gang members get a day in court. This is not justice.

Review (anonymous profile)
May 16, 2013 at 11:01 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I disagree. It is the needs of the many vs the need of you. Better yet, the needs of all the kids vs your real estate value. How many lives ruined.. including Latino youths that don't even want to be involved but yet get recruited. I say chill for a bit, let the coppers do their jobs with the tools they need. Lots of people are here to live a life that doesn't eventually escalate into a drive by shooting that penetrates their drywall (that is hopefully up to code) and raise some great little kids that will grow up and thrive in our country.

bimboteskie (anonymous profile)
May 16, 2013 at 11:52 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I don't think we are that far apart. I want to pay taxes for all of the things you say are important. I would be willing to pay more if my elected officials were making good decisions about how to use my taxes.
Tools are great, but different tools have different costs. Maybe the police could use a helicopter or two. Paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to make sure 15 guys cannot stand too close to one another seems like a poor cost/benefit decision to me.
Finally, I think I should at least have a chance to tell the judge, my neighborhood doesn't belong inside the nuisance zone. At least where I live, it feels like Santa Barbara and not like central LA in the 1980s.

Review (anonymous profile)
May 17, 2013 at 12:10 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Well I think the point is they are trying to keep it from becoming that. Unless there is and aggressive anti gang tool in place you will be eventually over run with all sorts. Doesn't matter the race. I really think you should think long term. This could be a really good thing.

bimboteskie (anonymous profile)
May 17, 2013 at 1:33 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Again, I think we agree, we need to keep Santa Barbara from becoming a place in which people live in constant fear. That requires vigilance. We need to ensure our community is a safe place for all to grow and thrive. We agree.
The problem is that DA and City Attorney want to declare my neighborhood, my house, a nuisance area now. This is not about preventing an eventual problem. They claim my house is a nuisance right now.
And they are requesting that the court announce to the world, and anyone who might want to buy my house, that it is a nuisance area right now. It is not. At least not where I live.
Why is there no mechanism for the judge to hear from me, Mr. City Attorney, Ms. District Attorney?

Review (anonymous profile)
May 17, 2013 at 1:58 a.m. (Suggest removal)

OK, so what do you propose? Would you like to draw the map? At this point it seems to be about certain PEEPS who keep committing felonies. I don't want them around my kids regardless if I am a renter or a property owner, or no mater my race.

bimboteskie (anonymous profile)
May 17, 2013 at 2:37 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Another elliptical thread about gang activity.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
May 17, 2013 at 3:04 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Wow! I remembering hear the same thing regarding gangs back when the LA PD was putting their Gang Injunction into action after a string of Drive-by's left some 46 people in the hospital and four dead including a 3 year old girl shot and killed in her bedroom as she slept; in one night. I guess when the body count climbs to the hundreds and with most of the victims tourists who are buying up the trinkets and baubles of Santa Barbara name-brands, then an over all gang injunction will really go into effect but how many locals will have to die first?

dou4now (anonymous profile)
May 17, 2013 at 8:36 a.m. (Suggest removal)

well dou4now, currently the count for locals is 2. if you count other bangers as well, then the count is higher.

thats enough stopped hearts for me. lets get that g.i. up and crackalackin.

lawdy (anonymous profile)
May 17, 2013 at 9:32 a.m. (Suggest removal)

When all you see in howling and wounded exaggeration for effect, it only proves there are no valid reason not to have this gang injunction. It needs to be city wide. Zero tolerance for gangs showing their faces on any city block in this entire town. Done with their brand of violence and hate in our city.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
May 17, 2013 at 10:10 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I wish La Migra was at the meeting. That would have seriously cut down the number of people passionately speaking against implementing the constitutionally vetted gang injunction...
Hilarious! Progressives arguing against the gang injunction based on being fiscally conservative and accountable? You support a bottomless pit of money for every thing you believe in, without any associated metrics, but now you are concerned about money?

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
May 17, 2013 at 10:44 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I am a little blown away that the people in the audience would argue against an injunction. Wouldn't they want this for their kids best interest? Seems to me this puts a glaring red flag on poor behavior and it would be nothing but good for the city. Hopefully Goleta will follow suit.

bimboteskie (anonymous profile)
May 17, 2013 at 11:15 a.m. (Suggest removal)

It's sorta like when Jerry Brown was mayor of Oakland. The predominantly black residents of east and west Oakland continually whined about not having enough cops. Oakland was and is broke so Jerry put a local proposition on the ballot to specifically fund hiring of new police. The neighborhoods that supposedly wanted the cops overwhelmingly voted against the proposition. To his credit Brown stood up to the activists and told them if they would not help themselves they cannot expect everyone else to take care of them.

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
May 17, 2013 at 12:13 p.m. (Suggest removal)

City policies should never become mob popularity contests - whoever shows up with the biggest and noisiest mob wins.

City council members are elected to do the right thing for all their constituents; not pander to astro-turf mob rule. Do mobs think their implied threat of a riot is justification enough for the council to reject decisions they don't like?

No one wins when this becomes the standard by which a city council governs all its constituents. The sheer threat of a mob intimidates others from even thinking about speaking up against them. Get real -- all it shows is thug-ocracy and we are too good for that.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
May 17, 2013 at 3:20 p.m. (Suggest removal)

how is this thread "elliptical"? I'm honestly still unsure re. gi.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
May 17, 2013 at 3:32 p.m. (Suggest removal)

yeah, if end up doing the gi at least let it be city-wide. Is that even feasible?

DrDan (anonymous profile)
May 17, 2013 at 3:33 p.m. (Suggest removal)

An injunction is not forever. It is a tool in the tool box. With as many watchdogs as this city has, it will work just fine. And if it does not for any reason, then it is suspended.

Either it turns out to be (1) too draconian or (2) too ineffectual, but we need to know first if it helps because the need to change the status quo on gang membership and gang violence is critical.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
May 17, 2013 at 5:42 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I think we all agree that the Nuisance Area is a tool.
But a tool to do what specifically? It addresses the behavior of 30 individuals. 15 of those individuals are presently in jail or prison. A significant number of the remaining 15 are certainly on probation or parole. The terms of their probation include far more strict requirements than any injunction would give them.
The police can already search them without any cause. Can search where they live without notice. The injunction tool has no such powers.
Terms of probation already regulate whom they can be seen with.
Further, a violation of felony probation could land them in prison. Violation of the injunction is a misdemeanor.
So what is left for this tool to do? Jail, prison, parole and probation have taken care of most of the 30. Let us say there are 5 of the 30 who aren't on probation or parole, because they haven't been caught doing criminal behavior in the last 3 or more years.
Paying over $100,000 for each one of these 5 guys so a judge could send them to jail for no more than six months for standing with another gang member? This makes no fiscal sense.
I want law enforcement that is flexible, not tied to a convoluted map.
The time that the DA is focused on this civil lawsuit sideshow is time that the DA is not spending on prosecuting actual criminal cases.
It's a tool, agreed, a very expensive and inefficient tool that threatens my pocketbook when it declares my home a nuisance area. Let's invest in other tools.

Review (anonymous profile)
May 17, 2013 at 11:37 p.m. (Suggest removal)

It appears the probation/parole route is the most effective and cost effective tool we can use to deal with those involved in gang activities. What strength or authority will a gang injunction have that a Judge cannot impose on the criminal as a term and condition of probation or parole? I believe we've overlooked the fact that the "tools" are already in place in the judicial system to deal with the gang bangers. Enforce the laws, prosecute and impose the greatest sentence possible in all cases.

whatsinsb (anonymous profile)
May 18, 2013 at 8:23 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The gang injunction is a tool. Use it. Learn what works and what does not. There are safeguards written every which way against Sunday in this ordinance.

Stop splitting hairs and creating straw dogs while this town festers in wholly unacceptable state of gang crime and intimidation. That might be your Santa Barbara, but it is not mine.

I want this entire city gang free and we start somewhere and we start today. I hope you fully understand this while you indulge in paralysis by over-analysis and the rest of the city suffers.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
May 18, 2013 at 9:02 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Sure - let's enforce a gang injunction and lock em all up. http://articles.latimes.com/2012/nov/...
" A 35-count indictment portrays Madrigal as a powerful figure representing an efficient and merciless organization that law enforcement officials believe has been operating for decades, LARGELY FROM BEHIND BARS, calling shots among street gangs.
Law enforcement is really scrambling for bucks, since we have a low level of crime and a very tight economy, and the city has cooperated by replacing volunteers with public safety employees, at taxpayers' expense. Exaggerating the gang problem, creating new laws to allow incarceration, and creating paranoia in the community are excellent techniques to encourage unjustified increases in law enforcement expense, strengthen gangs, improve gang members skills and connections, and increase the conditions that foster gangs and crime - poverty, unemployment, and lack of education, by diverting funds to law enforcement, which benefits from these conditions that promote crime and that provide law enforcement job security. If we label them as bad guys when they're young, they belong to the system for life.
Rehabilitating gang members doesn't provide funds for LE or local government and doesn't provide motivation for building more jails and hiring more corrections officers. Ventura gang member Efren Cruz served 4 years for a gang-related murder in Lot 10 after (promoted by Dudley shortly before retirement) Assistant DA Hilary Dozer refused to acknowledge exculpatory evidence during discovery, a confession to a Ventura detective. Since his conviction was overturned on appeal in Ventura, he's gotten a college degree, married, and has a son.
Marginalizing and labeling feeds the criminal justice sector, destroys people and increases crime.
We have former gang members who are a powerful community resource - we need to listen.

14noscams (anonymous profile)
May 18, 2013 at 10:46 p.m. (Suggest removal)

14noscams-Wow! You cite one (theoretically) non lowlife former gang member as proof we should not lock up recidivist criminals?
We do not label them my friend, they self label, it's just that most of us are willing to admit it.

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
May 19, 2013 at 6:44 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Recidivist criminals aren't afraid of a misdeameanor that an injunction might get them, they are afraid of the the three strikes law or the SHO.

AZ2SB (anonymous profile)
May 19, 2013 at 1:06 p.m. (Suggest removal)

There are no good reasons against the injunction offered so far that is not hysterical hyperbole. Not a one. No one wants any abuses from this injunction so stop worrying.

Don't waste any more time with this string of hysterical what-ifs, while more bodies get carted to Cottage hospital every week, if they don't end up in the morgue first. Crazy.

Just do it and then let's see if this hysteria has even a shred of credibility. We'll nail them, if they blow it. Together. Agreed?

foofighter (anonymous profile)
May 19, 2013 at 3:55 p.m. (Suggest removal)

In Conclusion
DA Joyce Dudley, City Attorney Steve Wiley, and Chief Cam Sanchez have a plan. If their plan works, it will discourage 5 people who are gang members from standing next to other people who are gang members when they are in public and within the boundaries of a nuisance area. And on certain holidays the nuisance area becomes bigger than on other days. That is their plan. They call it a "gang injunction."

Here are few of its problems:
(1) Their plan has already cost us many hundreds of thousands of dollars. Trying to convince a judge that the areas are a nuisance and the named people contribute to that nuisance will cost many hundreds of thousands more.

(2) Every hour the DA is focused on this civil lawsuit is an hour the DA is not focused on the litigation of actual criminal cases.

(3) Their plan will cause loss of property value to those, like me, whose property is within the proposed nuisance area.

(4) Their plan violates the rights of property owners as it provide no opportunity for us to object to their attempt to designate our property a "nuisance."

(5) Their plan places at risk Santa Barbara's international reputation as a safe tourist destination.

I conclude, Santa Barbara needs a different plan.

Review (anonymous profile)
May 21, 2013 at 10:09 a.m. (Suggest removal)

where is a map located that delineates the proposed gi area, including the expanded one?

DrDan (anonymous profile)
May 21, 2013 at 11:29 a.m. (Suggest removal)

If it works, it will discourage the next five who want to do stupid gang things.

And the next five and the next five. 80:20 rule - only 20% of these young people are stupid and violent, while keeping the rest of us 80% at their callous mercy.

Slowly get them all, and send the message to a new generation of gang wannabe - not welcome in Santa Barbara. Go hack up some other town. Sorry, but you cannot dismiss this problem.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
May 22, 2013 at 3:12 p.m. (Suggest removal)

80/20 is fat content in ground beef, not some known statistic of gangs vs. community.
99/1 is the spread of wealth in this country, which is helping create the gang problem.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 22, 2013 at 3:23 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Perhaps KV, but a better predictor is lack of literacy and academic achievement which is directly tied to parents not reading to and staying engaged with their kids when they are little. And guess what, that takes ZERO money. Too bad some minorities have lived down to the standard of not engaging their kids while others like most Asians, in spite of abject poverty and oppression, have done just the opposite.

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
May 22, 2013 at 4:11 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Italian nails it. Education is key, and if a child is coming from a background in which the concept in itself is a threat, then the chances for that child to lead a happy, positive adult life are greatly reduced.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 22, 2013 at 4:20 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Gang issues are not poverty issues. They are stupidity problems. They have nothing to do with poverty all. Celebration of violence has nothing to do with poverty; only impoverishment. And that is a choice.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
May 23, 2013 at 12:12 p.m. (Suggest removal)

gang issues are partially caught up in poverty and inequality issues, foo! When inequality lessens, crime and mental illness and violence all go down.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
May 23, 2013 at 1:34 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Foofighter: The problem is poverty without hope. When the whole economy is based on "cheap labor" designed to keep a group of people at poverty level, and when low expectations are placed on them and their children, you take away the hope that formerly lifted people out of poverty.

The whole problem is rooted in our unofficial immigration system.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
May 23, 2013 at 3:18 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Gangs celebrate and demand acts of violence for membership.

Gangs have no place in our city, our society and our country. They have nothing to do with poverty or hopelessness. Stop making excuses for their corrupt values. They serve no useful social purpose.

If you choose to be a gang-banger then you give up hope for ever participating meaningfully in society. You do not join because you are hopeless.

In fact just the opposite. You hope you will get in if you commit enough acts of violence and crime to earn your way in. Misdirected values, priorities and hope is what gangs are all about; not the consequence of hopelessness.

The whole problem is rooted in the stupid choice to want to be a gang member. Plenty of healthy alternatives exist in this town for everyone. And I mean everyone.

School days take up most of a young persons life, then after school activities and then study for the next day assignments. Work, volunteer activity, faith based organizations, and structured activities abound in this town for free time choices for young people.

What is the pay-off making excuses for choosing violence as a lifestyle in this town? Gang life is what is hopeless. Gang life is not the antidote for hopelessness; it is the guarantee of hopelessness. Gheesh.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
May 23, 2013 at 4:31 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I'll take a different approach to this: What were we doing before as a society when gang violence wasn't such a problem? Why did we not need gang injunctions before?

billclausen (anonymous profile)
May 23, 2013 at 7:02 p.m. (Suggest removal)

We weren't as impoverished a nation and opportunities were more available and apparent. We weren't sold get rich quick at any expense, and that a person's intrinsic value was related to their property or bank roll.

"Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime."

- Aristotle

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 26, 2013 at 11:37 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"As the restrictions and prohibition are multiplied in a country, the people will grow poorer and poorer. When the people are subjected to overmuch government, confusion reigns across the land. When the people are skilled in many cunning arts, strange are the objects of luxury that appear." -Lao Tzu-

billclausen (anonymous profile)
May 27, 2013 at 3:23 a.m. (Suggest removal)

"80/20 is fat content in ground beef " -Ken Volok- (American filmmaker and political critic)

Not always true. I have three slabs of ground beef sitting in my refrigerator right now that have a 70/30 fat-to-lean content;

billclausen (anonymous profile)
May 27, 2013 at 3:26 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Alas, I am obviously not a chef. Can I have frings with that?

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 27, 2013 at 3:32 a.m. (Suggest removal)

(Fast-food worker) "Would you like fries with that"
(Customer) "Did I ASK for fries"?

billclausen (anonymous profile)
May 27, 2013 at 3:45 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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