Several dozen people gathered at the downtown courthouse to vocally oppose the gang injunction before the first City Hall meeting of the year on Tuesday. Beginning at the corner of Anacapa and Anapamu streets, community activist Martin Leyva and Republican Liberty Caucus representative Brandon Morse rallied the crowd and urged everyone to fill out time cards to speak — or to pass their two minutes off to an ally — at the meeting. (Public comment would go on for two hours.)
Holding colorful signs that said “Education, not Incarceration,” “Injunction is Injustice,” and “Invest in our Youth,” the group marched around the courthouse, eliciting honks from some passing drivers. Marissa Garcia, a Santa Barbara native whose husband is named in the gang injunction, demanded the city find a new approach and claimed injunctions in other cities actually increase crime. Supporters of Brian Tacadena — the man who was shot and killed by a police officer in September — also participated as the group marched around the block to City Hall, pausing for a moment of silence in front of the police department.
Both the gang injunction and the Tacadena case have received considerable attention in the past few weeks. City Hall recently filed for a temporary restraining order to enact the gang injunction while the matter is tied up in court. And the Tacadena family filed a $10 million wrongful death claim against the city and the police department last week after the District Attorney’s office deemed the shooting a “justifiable homicide” in December.