Reisig Refiles for Gang Injunction, But Has Anything Changed?

This week, Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig announced that he was refiling for a gang injunction in West Sacramento.

Mr. Reisig told the Sacramento Bee earlier this week:

“They overturned it on technical issues… We’ll accept that, and we’ll fix it, but the need is still there. This is about public safety, and it’s the right thing to do.”

Those technical terms being the right to due process under the U.S. Constitution when the then Yolo County Deputy District Attorney noticed only one specific individual about the injunction. Moreover, the court struck down the use of “unincorporated association” as a means by which to target the entire Broderick Boys Gang.

It is not clear that Reisig has really fixed the problems involved in the first injunction being overturned. The original complaint only noticed 1 alleged gang member. This one notices 23 alleged gang members who were listed by name and another 400 unnamed individuals. It is not clear to me how they expect 400 unnamed individuals to know that they are being served and to come and defend themselves.

Moreover, as the Sacramento Bee reports,

The Sacramento-based state 3rd District Court of Appeal also ruled April 23 that prosecutors had failed to show the Broderick Boys were an “unincorporated association” for the purposes of the injunction.

To fix that problem, the new complaint argues the Broderick Boys are a group that not only shares symbols and colors and pursues lawful “social and recreational activities,” but also commits robberies and assaults, intimidates witnesses and deals drugs.

To this non-lawyer that appears to be the same argument that was used in the original ruling and struck down. The definition requires that they join for “mutual lawful purposes”–it appeared in the ruling that the judge did not agree that they joined for lawful purposes:

“In California, “‘Unincorporated association’ means an unincorporated group of two or more persons joined by mutual consent for a common lawful purpose, whether organized for profit or not.” (Corp. Code, § 18035, subd. (a), italics added.) The record does not show that The Broderick Boys—a criminal gang under the Penal Code, a “terrorist” group with “no social benefits”—was formed, at least in part, for a common lawful purpose.”

Based on that reading of the judges ruling, it is not clear how that argument will change his ultimate ruling.

Yesterday, four accused gang members challenged the injunction.

“As a group, they were not represented by an attorney but asked Fall if he might appoint one. The judge said that because it was a civil case — not a criminal matter — they were not entitled to court-appointed counsel.”

This appears another attempt to circumvent the rights of the accused. By claiming that this is a civil case, the accused are not entitled to court-appointed counsel. It reduces the burden of proof. And it changes the nature of the rights of the accused.

In the end, this seems no more constitutional than the last one. Even accused gang members should been innocent until proven guilty in the court of law. The District Attorney should have the burden of proving that each of the members is a gang member who has committed criminal actions against the population. And if they cannot prove that, then in this country, an individual should not be deprived of constitutional rights. Moreover, the District Attorney should not be able to bypass the legal system by making this a civil action. If it deprives people of their constitutional rights for freedom of association, it must be a criminal proceeding, where the individual is entitled to an attorney and if they cannot afford an attorney they should have the court-appoint one for them.

I sympathize with the citizens of West Sacramento who have to live in areas afflicted with gang activity. I favor all legal means to reduce that gang activity and actual crime. However, this US Constitution is not negotiable. Freedom means little during times of safety and security and only means something when our emotions and our security are challenged. We ask individuals fighting abroad to sacrifice their lives for our freedoms that we all enjoy, we can ask our citizens at home to do no less. For the second one class of people can be punished without due process of law, it becomes only a matter of time before all people can be likewise punished without due process of law.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

Author

  • David Greenwald

    Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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100 comments

  1. According to the Sac Bee article, there are 400 people covered by the new injunction – and that compares with 76 covered by an injunction in SF. The Yolo injunction seems to be much less focused than the SF injunction.

    The Yolo Deputy DA made an interesting comment-

    “Linden said showing up in court is another way gang members can protect their turf. “It’s a statement that gang members have made generationally,” the prosecutor said. “This is their town, and they’re not going to give it up.”

    I do not see how the action of going to court can be viewed as some sort of gang activity.

  2. According to the Sac Bee article, there are 400 people covered by the new injunction – and that compares with 76 covered by an injunction in SF. The Yolo injunction seems to be much less focused than the SF injunction.

    The Yolo Deputy DA made an interesting comment-

    “Linden said showing up in court is another way gang members can protect their turf. “It’s a statement that gang members have made generationally,” the prosecutor said. “This is their town, and they’re not going to give it up.”

    I do not see how the action of going to court can be viewed as some sort of gang activity.

  3. According to the Sac Bee article, there are 400 people covered by the new injunction – and that compares with 76 covered by an injunction in SF. The Yolo injunction seems to be much less focused than the SF injunction.

    The Yolo Deputy DA made an interesting comment-

    “Linden said showing up in court is another way gang members can protect their turf. “It’s a statement that gang members have made generationally,” the prosecutor said. “This is their town, and they’re not going to give it up.”

    I do not see how the action of going to court can be viewed as some sort of gang activity.

  4. According to the Sac Bee article, there are 400 people covered by the new injunction – and that compares with 76 covered by an injunction in SF. The Yolo injunction seems to be much less focused than the SF injunction.

    The Yolo Deputy DA made an interesting comment-

    “Linden said showing up in court is another way gang members can protect their turf. “It’s a statement that gang members have made generationally,” the prosecutor said. “This is their town, and they’re not going to give it up.”

    I do not see how the action of going to court can be viewed as some sort of gang activity.

  5. Won’t the ACLU take the case? Wasn’t it the ACLU who appealed the first injunction? Can’t the court limit the scope of the injunction if it feels it is too broad? Do you send your kids to a school like Pioneer High where there was a gang shooting involving a student across the street from the school? Do you have any idea how toxic gang activity can be to a community? Do you live in fear of gangs in your neighborhood? Do you have any idea how pervasive gang related crime is in Yolo County? Do you agree that crime was reduced under the old injunction and property values went up in the hood while it was in effect? Are you aware that crime has gone up since the old injunction was struck down?

    If you live in a world where these issues are as palpable as US casualties are in Iraq to military families while those who do not serve risk no sacrafice then you would appreciate the DA trying to take on gangs in this county.

    Ron Glick

  6. Won’t the ACLU take the case? Wasn’t it the ACLU who appealed the first injunction? Can’t the court limit the scope of the injunction if it feels it is too broad? Do you send your kids to a school like Pioneer High where there was a gang shooting involving a student across the street from the school? Do you have any idea how toxic gang activity can be to a community? Do you live in fear of gangs in your neighborhood? Do you have any idea how pervasive gang related crime is in Yolo County? Do you agree that crime was reduced under the old injunction and property values went up in the hood while it was in effect? Are you aware that crime has gone up since the old injunction was struck down?

    If you live in a world where these issues are as palpable as US casualties are in Iraq to military families while those who do not serve risk no sacrafice then you would appreciate the DA trying to take on gangs in this county.

    Ron Glick

  7. Won’t the ACLU take the case? Wasn’t it the ACLU who appealed the first injunction? Can’t the court limit the scope of the injunction if it feels it is too broad? Do you send your kids to a school like Pioneer High where there was a gang shooting involving a student across the street from the school? Do you have any idea how toxic gang activity can be to a community? Do you live in fear of gangs in your neighborhood? Do you have any idea how pervasive gang related crime is in Yolo County? Do you agree that crime was reduced under the old injunction and property values went up in the hood while it was in effect? Are you aware that crime has gone up since the old injunction was struck down?

    If you live in a world where these issues are as palpable as US casualties are in Iraq to military families while those who do not serve risk no sacrafice then you would appreciate the DA trying to take on gangs in this county.

    Ron Glick

  8. Won’t the ACLU take the case? Wasn’t it the ACLU who appealed the first injunction? Can’t the court limit the scope of the injunction if it feels it is too broad? Do you send your kids to a school like Pioneer High where there was a gang shooting involving a student across the street from the school? Do you have any idea how toxic gang activity can be to a community? Do you live in fear of gangs in your neighborhood? Do you have any idea how pervasive gang related crime is in Yolo County? Do you agree that crime was reduced under the old injunction and property values went up in the hood while it was in effect? Are you aware that crime has gone up since the old injunction was struck down?

    If you live in a world where these issues are as palpable as US casualties are in Iraq to military families while those who do not serve risk no sacrafice then you would appreciate the DA trying to take on gangs in this county.

    Ron Glick

  9. it would be nice, however, if the DA would “take on gangs” in this county in compliance with the US Constitution and the general, common law principles of the Anglo-American legal system, i.e. the right to notice, a hearing and proof that you should actually be subject to the conditions of the injunction

    instead, what we are getting here, as DPD rightly identifies, is the use of the civil system to obtain gang injunctions against people without proof they are gang members and without any ability to defend themselves, because, as the case is civil in nature, as opposed to a criminal one, they have no right to counsel

    and, hence, having no right to counsel, the injunction is issued without any proof ever being produced that the named individuals are actually gang members, leaving aside what a gang member is, and whether they have engaged in conduct sufficient to justify the issuance of the injunction

    autocratic methods of social control are always alluring to the people who are not subject to them, because, as Ron mentioned, it undoubtedly provides greater security for their property rights, thus increasing the value of it, as well as greater security for their persons

    but, again, it would be nice if law enforcement would try to achieve these goals without using approaches deliberately designed to exploit the poverty of the targets and their inability to defend themselves in the civil court system, it makes a mockery of the whole notion that we respect the rights of the individual by recourse to the judiciary

    pointing towards the social status of the people who raise these concerns, while it may have a populist appeal reminiscent of George Wallace, evades the question as to whether we are excluding certain segments of the populace from the legal protections granted to others

    –Richard Estes

    –Richard Estes

  10. it would be nice, however, if the DA would “take on gangs” in this county in compliance with the US Constitution and the general, common law principles of the Anglo-American legal system, i.e. the right to notice, a hearing and proof that you should actually be subject to the conditions of the injunction

    instead, what we are getting here, as DPD rightly identifies, is the use of the civil system to obtain gang injunctions against people without proof they are gang members and without any ability to defend themselves, because, as the case is civil in nature, as opposed to a criminal one, they have no right to counsel

    and, hence, having no right to counsel, the injunction is issued without any proof ever being produced that the named individuals are actually gang members, leaving aside what a gang member is, and whether they have engaged in conduct sufficient to justify the issuance of the injunction

    autocratic methods of social control are always alluring to the people who are not subject to them, because, as Ron mentioned, it undoubtedly provides greater security for their property rights, thus increasing the value of it, as well as greater security for their persons

    but, again, it would be nice if law enforcement would try to achieve these goals without using approaches deliberately designed to exploit the poverty of the targets and their inability to defend themselves in the civil court system, it makes a mockery of the whole notion that we respect the rights of the individual by recourse to the judiciary

    pointing towards the social status of the people who raise these concerns, while it may have a populist appeal reminiscent of George Wallace, evades the question as to whether we are excluding certain segments of the populace from the legal protections granted to others

    –Richard Estes

    –Richard Estes

  11. it would be nice, however, if the DA would “take on gangs” in this county in compliance with the US Constitution and the general, common law principles of the Anglo-American legal system, i.e. the right to notice, a hearing and proof that you should actually be subject to the conditions of the injunction

    instead, what we are getting here, as DPD rightly identifies, is the use of the civil system to obtain gang injunctions against people without proof they are gang members and without any ability to defend themselves, because, as the case is civil in nature, as opposed to a criminal one, they have no right to counsel

    and, hence, having no right to counsel, the injunction is issued without any proof ever being produced that the named individuals are actually gang members, leaving aside what a gang member is, and whether they have engaged in conduct sufficient to justify the issuance of the injunction

    autocratic methods of social control are always alluring to the people who are not subject to them, because, as Ron mentioned, it undoubtedly provides greater security for their property rights, thus increasing the value of it, as well as greater security for their persons

    but, again, it would be nice if law enforcement would try to achieve these goals without using approaches deliberately designed to exploit the poverty of the targets and their inability to defend themselves in the civil court system, it makes a mockery of the whole notion that we respect the rights of the individual by recourse to the judiciary

    pointing towards the social status of the people who raise these concerns, while it may have a populist appeal reminiscent of George Wallace, evades the question as to whether we are excluding certain segments of the populace from the legal protections granted to others

    –Richard Estes

    –Richard Estes

  12. it would be nice, however, if the DA would “take on gangs” in this county in compliance with the US Constitution and the general, common law principles of the Anglo-American legal system, i.e. the right to notice, a hearing and proof that you should actually be subject to the conditions of the injunction

    instead, what we are getting here, as DPD rightly identifies, is the use of the civil system to obtain gang injunctions against people without proof they are gang members and without any ability to defend themselves, because, as the case is civil in nature, as opposed to a criminal one, they have no right to counsel

    and, hence, having no right to counsel, the injunction is issued without any proof ever being produced that the named individuals are actually gang members, leaving aside what a gang member is, and whether they have engaged in conduct sufficient to justify the issuance of the injunction

    autocratic methods of social control are always alluring to the people who are not subject to them, because, as Ron mentioned, it undoubtedly provides greater security for their property rights, thus increasing the value of it, as well as greater security for their persons

    but, again, it would be nice if law enforcement would try to achieve these goals without using approaches deliberately designed to exploit the poverty of the targets and their inability to defend themselves in the civil court system, it makes a mockery of the whole notion that we respect the rights of the individual by recourse to the judiciary

    pointing towards the social status of the people who raise these concerns, while it may have a populist appeal reminiscent of George Wallace, evades the question as to whether we are excluding certain segments of the populace from the legal protections granted to others

    –Richard Estes

    –Richard Estes

  13. What I don’t understand is this, if each of these men are involved in gang activity in West Sacramento, can’t the Court issue orders for each individual that would be the same as the limitations under the proposed injunction – a curfew, prohibition of hanging out with certain people, cease all criminal activity, allow warrantless searches of the persons home, vehicle, person by law enforcement, etc? Then the offender would be represented by legal council and have an opportunity to defend themselves against the “injuction.”

    Per the article in the Bee, one alleged gang member stated that he had some brushes with the law as a juvenile, but nothing since and now lives in Sacramento. However, the ADA states that this same individual has been arrested in the last two years while driving in West Sacramento with a loaded gun in a car and, separately, for selling methamptamine. It is difficult to support an individual who apparently is engaging in dangerous, illegal activity. There is absolutely beneficial reason that someone should be driving around with a loaded gun in his car in a city within Yolo County.

    However, I do believe in due process. And the 400 unnamed individuals makes me nervous. Who determines who is added to the list? Would their be notification, a requirement to prove that the person should be on the list, and an opportunity to argue against it? Is there a process to get off the list later on or is this a lifetime prohibition?

    I also don’t understand the “civil” vs. “criminal” if the DA’s Office is the entitiy pushing for the establishment of the injuction – shouldn’t it be the City Attorney, or the County Counsel’s office suing the Broderick Boys instead?

    I have very mixed feelings about all of this. These “boys” have no intitlement to make their community a dangerous place to live or visit for people not involved in their little society. Just because they grew up there, doesn’t give them a right to control their community – focusing the attention of law enforcement onto their neighborhoods. The difference between the last injunction and this attempt is that Reisig seems to have the backing of the West Sacramento community. I’m sure that they are tired of the criminal activities that plague their neighborhoods and lure their youth into joining gangs. Things were improving under the previous injunction and I’m sure that people are afraid of returning to how it was before.

  14. What I don’t understand is this, if each of these men are involved in gang activity in West Sacramento, can’t the Court issue orders for each individual that would be the same as the limitations under the proposed injunction – a curfew, prohibition of hanging out with certain people, cease all criminal activity, allow warrantless searches of the persons home, vehicle, person by law enforcement, etc? Then the offender would be represented by legal council and have an opportunity to defend themselves against the “injuction.”

    Per the article in the Bee, one alleged gang member stated that he had some brushes with the law as a juvenile, but nothing since and now lives in Sacramento. However, the ADA states that this same individual has been arrested in the last two years while driving in West Sacramento with a loaded gun in a car and, separately, for selling methamptamine. It is difficult to support an individual who apparently is engaging in dangerous, illegal activity. There is absolutely beneficial reason that someone should be driving around with a loaded gun in his car in a city within Yolo County.

    However, I do believe in due process. And the 400 unnamed individuals makes me nervous. Who determines who is added to the list? Would their be notification, a requirement to prove that the person should be on the list, and an opportunity to argue against it? Is there a process to get off the list later on or is this a lifetime prohibition?

    I also don’t understand the “civil” vs. “criminal” if the DA’s Office is the entitiy pushing for the establishment of the injuction – shouldn’t it be the City Attorney, or the County Counsel’s office suing the Broderick Boys instead?

    I have very mixed feelings about all of this. These “boys” have no intitlement to make their community a dangerous place to live or visit for people not involved in their little society. Just because they grew up there, doesn’t give them a right to control their community – focusing the attention of law enforcement onto their neighborhoods. The difference between the last injunction and this attempt is that Reisig seems to have the backing of the West Sacramento community. I’m sure that they are tired of the criminal activities that plague their neighborhoods and lure their youth into joining gangs. Things were improving under the previous injunction and I’m sure that people are afraid of returning to how it was before.

  15. What I don’t understand is this, if each of these men are involved in gang activity in West Sacramento, can’t the Court issue orders for each individual that would be the same as the limitations under the proposed injunction – a curfew, prohibition of hanging out with certain people, cease all criminal activity, allow warrantless searches of the persons home, vehicle, person by law enforcement, etc? Then the offender would be represented by legal council and have an opportunity to defend themselves against the “injuction.”

    Per the article in the Bee, one alleged gang member stated that he had some brushes with the law as a juvenile, but nothing since and now lives in Sacramento. However, the ADA states that this same individual has been arrested in the last two years while driving in West Sacramento with a loaded gun in a car and, separately, for selling methamptamine. It is difficult to support an individual who apparently is engaging in dangerous, illegal activity. There is absolutely beneficial reason that someone should be driving around with a loaded gun in his car in a city within Yolo County.

    However, I do believe in due process. And the 400 unnamed individuals makes me nervous. Who determines who is added to the list? Would their be notification, a requirement to prove that the person should be on the list, and an opportunity to argue against it? Is there a process to get off the list later on or is this a lifetime prohibition?

    I also don’t understand the “civil” vs. “criminal” if the DA’s Office is the entitiy pushing for the establishment of the injuction – shouldn’t it be the City Attorney, or the County Counsel’s office suing the Broderick Boys instead?

    I have very mixed feelings about all of this. These “boys” have no intitlement to make their community a dangerous place to live or visit for people not involved in their little society. Just because they grew up there, doesn’t give them a right to control their community – focusing the attention of law enforcement onto their neighborhoods. The difference between the last injunction and this attempt is that Reisig seems to have the backing of the West Sacramento community. I’m sure that they are tired of the criminal activities that plague their neighborhoods and lure their youth into joining gangs. Things were improving under the previous injunction and I’m sure that people are afraid of returning to how it was before.

  16. What I don’t understand is this, if each of these men are involved in gang activity in West Sacramento, can’t the Court issue orders for each individual that would be the same as the limitations under the proposed injunction – a curfew, prohibition of hanging out with certain people, cease all criminal activity, allow warrantless searches of the persons home, vehicle, person by law enforcement, etc? Then the offender would be represented by legal council and have an opportunity to defend themselves against the “injuction.”

    Per the article in the Bee, one alleged gang member stated that he had some brushes with the law as a juvenile, but nothing since and now lives in Sacramento. However, the ADA states that this same individual has been arrested in the last two years while driving in West Sacramento with a loaded gun in a car and, separately, for selling methamptamine. It is difficult to support an individual who apparently is engaging in dangerous, illegal activity. There is absolutely beneficial reason that someone should be driving around with a loaded gun in his car in a city within Yolo County.

    However, I do believe in due process. And the 400 unnamed individuals makes me nervous. Who determines who is added to the list? Would their be notification, a requirement to prove that the person should be on the list, and an opportunity to argue against it? Is there a process to get off the list later on or is this a lifetime prohibition?

    I also don’t understand the “civil” vs. “criminal” if the DA’s Office is the entitiy pushing for the establishment of the injuction – shouldn’t it be the City Attorney, or the County Counsel’s office suing the Broderick Boys instead?

    I have very mixed feelings about all of this. These “boys” have no intitlement to make their community a dangerous place to live or visit for people not involved in their little society. Just because they grew up there, doesn’t give them a right to control their community – focusing the attention of law enforcement onto their neighborhoods. The difference between the last injunction and this attempt is that Reisig seems to have the backing of the West Sacramento community. I’m sure that they are tired of the criminal activities that plague their neighborhoods and lure their youth into joining gangs. Things were improving under the previous injunction and I’m sure that people are afraid of returning to how it was before.

  17. Ron.. your “attack” uncharacteristically misses the point here. I do not think that anyone here is against using all legal constitutionally-allowed means to control virulent gang activity. Our Great Leader and his Attorney General make a similiar argument that to fight international “street gangs”, we should accept their trampling on constitutionally-guaranteed rights.

  18. Ron.. your “attack” uncharacteristically misses the point here. I do not think that anyone here is against using all legal constitutionally-allowed means to control virulent gang activity. Our Great Leader and his Attorney General make a similiar argument that to fight international “street gangs”, we should accept their trampling on constitutionally-guaranteed rights.

  19. Ron.. your “attack” uncharacteristically misses the point here. I do not think that anyone here is against using all legal constitutionally-allowed means to control virulent gang activity. Our Great Leader and his Attorney General make a similiar argument that to fight international “street gangs”, we should accept their trampling on constitutionally-guaranteed rights.

  20. Ron.. your “attack” uncharacteristically misses the point here. I do not think that anyone here is against using all legal constitutionally-allowed means to control virulent gang activity. Our Great Leader and his Attorney General make a similiar argument that to fight international “street gangs”, we should accept their trampling on constitutionally-guaranteed rights.

  21. “The difference between the last injunction and this attempt is that Reisig seems to have the backing of the West Sacramento community.”

    A dangerous concept, Sharla, that community support trumps citizen rights.. Remember when Japanese- American citizens were rounded up and sent to relocation(concentration)camps with,I believe, the enthusiastic support of the majority of Californians.

  22. “The difference between the last injunction and this attempt is that Reisig seems to have the backing of the West Sacramento community.”

    A dangerous concept, Sharla, that community support trumps citizen rights.. Remember when Japanese- American citizens were rounded up and sent to relocation(concentration)camps with,I believe, the enthusiastic support of the majority of Californians.

  23. “The difference between the last injunction and this attempt is that Reisig seems to have the backing of the West Sacramento community.”

    A dangerous concept, Sharla, that community support trumps citizen rights.. Remember when Japanese- American citizens were rounded up and sent to relocation(concentration)camps with,I believe, the enthusiastic support of the majority of Californians.

  24. “The difference between the last injunction and this attempt is that Reisig seems to have the backing of the West Sacramento community.”

    A dangerous concept, Sharla, that community support trumps citizen rights.. Remember when Japanese- American citizens were rounded up and sent to relocation(concentration)camps with,I believe, the enthusiastic support of the majority of Californians.

  25. I met one of the alleged gang members when I was involved in this issue a while ago. She was a teenager attending community college. She worked a job to pay for college. She had never been in trouble with the law. But when they arrested a suspected gang member they apparently found a picture fo her with the him holding up gangs signs. The picutre was from their Catholic school days and the gang signs were peace signs….. If this is what Reisig considers stopping gangs in Wes Sac, then the US is bringing peace and stability to Iraq.

  26. I met one of the alleged gang members when I was involved in this issue a while ago. She was a teenager attending community college. She worked a job to pay for college. She had never been in trouble with the law. But when they arrested a suspected gang member they apparently found a picture fo her with the him holding up gangs signs. The picutre was from their Catholic school days and the gang signs were peace signs….. If this is what Reisig considers stopping gangs in Wes Sac, then the US is bringing peace and stability to Iraq.