Is Another Gang Injunction in the Works for Santa Ana?

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Last night, SanTana Police Department (SAPD) Commander Tammy Franks and Assistant District Attorney Tracy Rinauro talked to a community gathering about the city's sole gang injunction: the one affecting Santa Nita street gang, enacted in 2006. But residents and community groups didn't gather to debate the merits of that injunction. Instead, they spoke out against rumors that a new one is being planned against the Townsend Street gang.

Back in late August, they claim, SAPD gang unit members said as much during a police presentation at the KidWorks center in the neighborhood.

The rumored area would be enclosed by West 1st Street, South Raitt Street, West McFadden Avenue and South Sullivan Street. The "safety zone" would also capture blocks claimed by the rival West Myrtle Street gang.

Vanessa Cerda, a neighborhood resident, took to public comments to caution against any such plans. "No one has notified me or my community if we wanted a gang injunction," she said. "I created a petition and I gathered signatures against [it]." Cerda tells the Weekly that her partner is a former gang member that has left the life behind but still faces harassment by law enforcement. "It will only make it worse," she says if an injunction is implemented.

Her viewpoints were echoed by grassroots organizations like Chican@s Unidos and Boys and Men of Color that stressed civil liberty concerns citing the recent ruling by the Ninth Circuit against the OVC gang injunction in Orange and promoted preventative programs for youth as a viable alternative. If police are building a case, residents and groups are building community, holding their first outdoor family movie night Friday on Townsend Street from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. with free parking at nearby Jerome Park.

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Gabriel San Román / OC Weekly
Council Committee members listen to community input

Deep into the public safety meeting, city councilman Roman Reyna raised a key question regarding a possible injunction. "Have we started to collect data in [the] Townsend area to move in this particular direction?" Santa Ana Interim Police Chief Carlos Rojas offered a response. "It's better not to speak on any specific issue," he said citing concerns of breaching confidentiality, "but we are constantly looking at data related to all our hot spot areas."

Later on, the KidWorks presentation was brought up once more from the audience. "I have not authorized anybody from my staff to talk about any gang injunction," Rojas said. He then turned it over to Commander Franks who heads the gang unit.

"I actually reviewed the presentations," she said of her officers that participated. "The [residents] were advised that [injunctions are] just one tool that can be used, not that we are intending to," Franks said, though noting that she wasn't present at the center.

"If there are gang injunctions to be done here in the city," Rojas added, "I will be at that community meeting." He apologized for any misinformation that may have been communicated and said that his phone line is open.

"The council members seemed very willing to learn and it showed that this meeting was useful," Carolyn Torres of Chican@s Unidos said after it wrapped up. Having called Chief Rojas for clarification prior to last night, she remains unconvinced that there are no active plans for a gang injunction on Townsend.

"They're building a case," she adds. "The next step [for us] is to keep the fact finding mission going."

Follow Gabriel San Román on Twitter @dpalabraz

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19 comments
18usc241
18usc241 topcommenter

I wonder if SanTana Police Department (SAPD) Commander Tammy Franks, SAPD Chief Carlos Rojas or Assistant District Attorney Tracy Rinauro have any idea who in US law enforcement is using white and latino gang member types to terrorize US born American citizens in the Orange County, CA jurisdiction since well before 9/11? You might want to find out because it could put an immediate end to this gang injunction fraud - it might also cause your gang suppresion enforcement units in Orange County to be shut down for perpetrating a fraud against the people of this County.

tongue_twister_for_t
tongue_twister_for_t topcommenter

It violates the Constitution.

The POLICE ARE A GANG. A City PAID GANG.

tongue_twister_for_t
tongue_twister_for_t topcommenter

I thought that a FEDERAL Judge told them to quit targeting people that had committed no crimes, you cannot just tell someone that they cannot associate with others and limit their activities without a judges order. Judges are nothing more than lawyers in black robes and they lie for a living..

Lenny Taylor
Lenny Taylor

No whites living in this shit hole area. I'm still sure whites will be blamed for the area turning to shit

fc2479
fc2479

How about like that movie PURGE, we set aside a week when all gang members are targets and we can hunt them down like the filthy trash they are.  

paullucas714
paullucas714 topcommenter

We need to impose a junction on the DA and all police officers.

Mike Rodriguez
Mike Rodriguez

Spurgeon too. So what are the consequences of a gang injunction? And what kind of resources and money does it take to enforce a gang injunction?

Valerie Amezcua
Valerie Amezcua

Benjamin Vazquez, a reason for you to get involved and bring community members with you to the Safety Meetings.

Gilberto Torres
Gilberto Torres

Since the Santa Ana jail is a deficit clusterfuck for the city, not surprised by the news. They'll do anything for revenue these days.

Luz Andaluz
Luz Andaluz

Instead of locking up our youth lets try Restorative justice... Programs that help heal our neighborhood.

Leonardo Maciel
Leonardo Maciel

we live in a country that fufills the ideology of freedom.... bullshit lol

FishWithoutBicycle
FishWithoutBicycle

I detest gang violence...but I also believe in "innocent until proven guilty".

trb92677
trb92677

Enclose the area in barbed wire and set up a tower, problem solved.

whateveryousay
whateveryousay topcommenter

@paullucas714 Yes we should start the act or process of joining or embrace the condition of joining the DA and all police officers in their endeavors to stop gangs in Santa Ana.


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