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Cities take on gangs with lawsuits July 29, 2007

Posted by daveintexas in Current Events.
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In an attempt to curtail violence, cities like Ft. Worth Texas and San Francisco filing suits asking judges for injunctions against gang members to prevent them from loitering, possessing weapons, drinking in public and generally giving police the authority to disrupt gang activity before it escalates into violence.

Kevin Rousseau, assistant Tarrant County prosecutor says it’s another tool for law enforcement, a proactive approach.

Unsurprisingly, the ACLU and other critics say it goes too far.  “It’s difficult to determine if they are gang members or people meeting together to discuss issues” says lawyer Peter Bebring.

Peter, it’s not that difficult.  All a cop has to do is ask if the group has designated a moderator, and if so, move on.

The article states this legal technique has been used since the 1980s, starting in Los Angeles where serious gangs create serious gang problems.  The injunctions make it possible for lawmakers to assess a misdemeanor for violations, including up to a year in jail.

I read this as stiff penalties for miscreant behavior by really bad people.  If the bar gets set lower for a recidivist, I don’t think I have a problem with that.

So far the courts haven’t had a problem with it either.

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