Community Leaders Meet to Discuss Proposed Gang Injunction

Townhall Meeting at Trinity Episcopal Church

Jim Murray, KEYT - KCOY - KKFX Reporter, jim.murray@keyt.com
POSTED: 09:09 AM PST Dec 24, 2013    UPDATED: 10:01 PM PDT Oct 19, 2013 
Gangs
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -

Is it a gang prevention tool or a civil rights violation? That's the question when it comes to the proposed gang injunction, the controversial plan designed to curb gang violence. Lompoc and Oxnard already have injunctions in place, and Santa Barbara might not be far behind. And if the injunction is imposed, it could have wide ranging legal ramifications.

At community discussion was planned at Trinity Episcopal Church where people could discuss the specifics of the proposed injunction.

With gang violence escalating in Santa Barbara and law enforcement at a loss for how to curb it, City Hall took an extreme measure to try to make the streets safer: they proposed a "Gang injunction," which, if ordered, would severely limit the rights of 30 alleged adult gang members. Christy Haynes, who moderated the event, said "My intention was to really help our community understand the language of this complicated legal document."

The complicated issue has left many in the community concerned and confused. Today's meeting was designed to help put the legal jargon into real-world terms. Council Member Cathy Murillo, said "The community needs to have an open and transparent talk about his issue. The City Council talked in a closed session about this is our time to talk about it."

The meeting  was organized by the Pro Youth Movement and featured several community outreach leaders. Many believe that there should be more effort to help young people rather than increasing police power.

Haynes said "We need to ask ourselves...Is this what we want? And will this help us? Will this help us get to our goal?"

Some have questioned if the controversial plan designed to curb gang violence is in reality a civil rights violation.  Organizers of today's meeting hope that people start asking the tough questions...

Murillo said "I don't want Santa Barbara to be know for our gang injunction."