West Sacramento Community Members Rally Against Gang Injunction

Yesterday afternoon at the courtyard in front of the Yolo County Courthouse in Woodland there was a rally of approximately 20 homeowners and community members from West Sacramento.

The defense was set to submit around 100 affidavits from various residents of West Sacramento that there is no need for the gang injunction. The District Attorney would counter that these affidavits have no bearing on the legal case.

The protesters were there to show their opposition to the police injunction that Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig wants to impose upon the citizens of Broderick and Bryte. Community activists had gathered over 100 declarations from those areas that was due to be presented as part of their evidence for their hearing. They were hoping the injunction will not go further and that testimony from those individuals would allowed.

One of the organizers Julian Perez of the group Citizens Empowering Citizens told the crowd and gathered media:

“Now these gentlemen that have been placed in this action so far, they have their right to due process. However, the District Attorney has named up to four hundred John and Jane Doe’s. Subsequent to this action if someone is placed on the gang injunction after it is imposed, they do not get a day in court.”

Phil Barrows, retired law enforcement officer responded to a question from Davis Enterprise reporter Lauren Keene on the impact of the gang injunction on the community as a whole:

“Many of the family members, guys who are associated with people identified as gang members can’t have their loved ones come over to the house because there may be one or two who are identified as gang members. Consequently if they’re together, they violate the gang ordinance which then puts them in jeopardy of being arrested, which in fact they can be arrested at that time.”

However, Mr. Barrows argued that the gang injunction really went beyond family impact to the impact on the community and the neighborhoods.

“The other type of impact on the community is what you see on the sign, gentrification. What’s happening with West Sacramento, it’s not only about a gang injunction. The way we see it, it’s about development.”

He goes on to argue that the gang injunction and fear of gang violence is used by some to seize land and declare eminent domain.

They have been fighting this gang injunction for three years.

“The reason we are fighting [the gang injunction] is that number one, the District Attorney came out and said that there was so much crime going on in West Sacramento and that because of the injunction that they have control of the crime. Crime was going down.”

However as Mr. Barrows points out, crime had been going down three years ago nationally as well as locally. So it is not clear that the gang injunction was the cause of the decrease in crime in West Sacramento.

“In 2006, with this gang injunction still in place, crime went up in West Sacramento. Their not talking about that. What we’ve been telling them for days now is that the injunction will not have any effect on crime one way or another. It never has in all of the injunctions through out the state.”

Mr. Barrows also addressed the issue of the 400 plus John and Jane Does.

“We don’t know who those people are and neither does the District Attorney. For three years now they’ve only been able to serve 23 individuals. So that’s a far cry from 400. Because there aren’t 400.”

One the issues that has been raised repeatedly by those against the gang injunction is that there is no Broderick Boys gang. Phil Barrows explained that at the rally yesterday.

“As a law enforcement officer, I’m hear to tell you that there isn’t a Broderick Boys gang. That’s not to say that there isn’t gang members in West Sacramento, Woodland. The gang they’re really looking at is the Norteno Gang, and now they’re using the term Norteno. But there’s never been a Broderick Boys Gang. That’s what we’re trying to prove, that there isn’t, and because there isn’t, and because this injunction has no effect on crime, then we don’t need to have an injunction.”

While the law is indeed independent of public opinion for the most part, it would be very interesting to get a true gauge of public opinion in West Sacramento about the gang injunction. Both sides assert that they have public support for their positions.

Many who oppose the gang injunction have argued in essence that the police have used it as a tool to harass Latinos in the area regardless of gang affiliation.

On the other hand, proponents have argued that the gang injunction is a valuable tool needed by law enforcement to counter gang activity.

Personally I have always been suspicious of measures that seek to prevent the normal activities that people are allowed to engage in without the due process of law.

The first gang injunction noticed one individual and at least according to Rick Gore, it was intentional by the District Attorney as a means to impose the gang injunction without the ability of those accused of gang members to challenge it.

This was a little better, but still you have 400 John and Jane Doe’s who have no change to challenge the injunction once it gets implemented. Furthermore they are using civil law to deprive individuals of liberty.

From a constitutional and a civil liberty standpoint this is simply intolerable regardless of one’s position of the merits of a gang injunction in general.

We understand that gang members do very bad things in a community and we wish to punish criminal activity, but we wish to do so within the confines of due process and actual proof in a court of law that individuals have engaged in unlawful gang activities.

—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.

Categories:

Court Watch

64 comments

  1. I feel very conflicted about the injunction, especially in light of the controversy surrounding Jeff Reisig. The Letter to the Editor by Rick Gore was less than helpful, but so was Reisig’s response to Mr. Gore’s original letter. Frankly, I really don’t know what to think. I suspect there is Jeff Reisig’s side, Rick Gore’s side, and the truth is somewhere in the middle.

    I was originally for the gang injunction (second one, not the first), but am not sure now. Twenty folks from West Sac showing up against the injunction is not a huge number. However, public opinion is not really germane. What is really needed are some facts – such as valid crime statistics that support the need for an injunction. It will be very interesting to see what the court does with this second injunction…

  2. I feel very conflicted about the injunction, especially in light of the controversy surrounding Jeff Reisig. The Letter to the Editor by Rick Gore was less than helpful, but so was Reisig’s response to Mr. Gore’s original letter. Frankly, I really don’t know what to think. I suspect there is Jeff Reisig’s side, Rick Gore’s side, and the truth is somewhere in the middle.

    I was originally for the gang injunction (second one, not the first), but am not sure now. Twenty folks from West Sac showing up against the injunction is not a huge number. However, public opinion is not really germane. What is really needed are some facts – such as valid crime statistics that support the need for an injunction. It will be very interesting to see what the court does with this second injunction…

  3. I feel very conflicted about the injunction, especially in light of the controversy surrounding Jeff Reisig. The Letter to the Editor by Rick Gore was less than helpful, but so was Reisig’s response to Mr. Gore’s original letter. Frankly, I really don’t know what to think. I suspect there is Jeff Reisig’s side, Rick Gore’s side, and the truth is somewhere in the middle.

    I was originally for the gang injunction (second one, not the first), but am not sure now. Twenty folks from West Sac showing up against the injunction is not a huge number. However, public opinion is not really germane. What is really needed are some facts – such as valid crime statistics that support the need for an injunction. It will be very interesting to see what the court does with this second injunction…

  4. I feel very conflicted about the injunction, especially in light of the controversy surrounding Jeff Reisig. The Letter to the Editor by Rick Gore was less than helpful, but so was Reisig’s response to Mr. Gore’s original letter. Frankly, I really don’t know what to think. I suspect there is Jeff Reisig’s side, Rick Gore’s side, and the truth is somewhere in the middle.

    I was originally for the gang injunction (second one, not the first), but am not sure now. Twenty folks from West Sac showing up against the injunction is not a huge number. However, public opinion is not really germane. What is really needed are some facts – such as valid crime statistics that support the need for an injunction. It will be very interesting to see what the court does with this second injunction…

  5. I feel no conflict whatsoever, regardless of the messenger. Jeff Reisig’s tarnished reputation is of little consequence regarding the gang injunction issue. Unfortunately it does take away from what the focus should be on regarding a gang injunction. It should be on the constitutional rights of the West Sacramento citizens.
    Besides, a gang injunction is not the answer to a real or exagerrated or alleged gang problem in West Sacramento. I agree this gang injunction is more about development.
    While West Sacramento prevention programs may have its challenges, intervention in the form of providing people with opportunities is the best place to start. Put more money into parent education & support, the schools, and after school programs in the area. Decreasing gang activity is not accomplished by stereotyping, arresting or prosecuting or incarcerating people for merely knowing one another or being around one another (not engaging in illicit activities). I am very concerned about the bigger issue regarding this gang injunction. Who is a gang member, what do these gang members look like (thats real scary territory), what are the credentials of the persons who determine who is and is not, and by using what tools?

    As for the 20 + citizens that protested: its the message, not the numbers. Many others are probably too afraid to speak up or show themselves for fear of being called a gang member or someone who associates with them.

  6. I feel no conflict whatsoever, regardless of the messenger. Jeff Reisig’s tarnished reputation is of little consequence regarding the gang injunction issue. Unfortunately it does take away from what the focus should be on regarding a gang injunction. It should be on the constitutional rights of the West Sacramento citizens.
    Besides, a gang injunction is not the answer to a real or exagerrated or alleged gang problem in West Sacramento. I agree this gang injunction is more about development.
    While West Sacramento prevention programs may have its challenges, intervention in the form of providing people with opportunities is the best place to start. Put more money into parent education & support, the schools, and after school programs in the area. Decreasing gang activity is not accomplished by stereotyping, arresting or prosecuting or incarcerating people for merely knowing one another or being around one another (not engaging in illicit activities). I am very concerned about the bigger issue regarding this gang injunction. Who is a gang member, what do these gang members look like (thats real scary territory), what are the credentials of the persons who determine who is and is not, and by using what tools?

    As for the 20 + citizens that protested: its the message, not the numbers. Many others are probably too afraid to speak up or show themselves for fear of being called a gang member or someone who associates with them.

  7. I feel no conflict whatsoever, regardless of the messenger. Jeff Reisig’s tarnished reputation is of little consequence regarding the gang injunction issue. Unfortunately it does take away from what the focus should be on regarding a gang injunction. It should be on the constitutional rights of the West Sacramento citizens.
    Besides, a gang injunction is not the answer to a real or exagerrated or alleged gang problem in West Sacramento. I agree this gang injunction is more about development.
    While West Sacramento prevention programs may have its challenges, intervention in the form of providing people with opportunities is the best place to start. Put more money into parent education & support, the schools, and after school programs in the area. Decreasing gang activity is not accomplished by stereotyping, arresting or prosecuting or incarcerating people for merely knowing one another or being around one another (not engaging in illicit activities). I am very concerned about the bigger issue regarding this gang injunction. Who is a gang member, what do these gang members look like (thats real scary territory), what are the credentials of the persons who determine who is and is not, and by using what tools?

    As for the 20 + citizens that protested: its the message, not the numbers. Many others are probably too afraid to speak up or show themselves for fear of being called a gang member or someone who associates with them.

  8. I feel no conflict whatsoever, regardless of the messenger. Jeff Reisig’s tarnished reputation is of little consequence regarding the gang injunction issue. Unfortunately it does take away from what the focus should be on regarding a gang injunction. It should be on the constitutional rights of the West Sacramento citizens.
    Besides, a gang injunction is not the answer to a real or exagerrated or alleged gang problem in West Sacramento. I agree this gang injunction is more about development.
    While West Sacramento prevention programs may have its challenges, intervention in the form of providing people with opportunities is the best place to start. Put more money into parent education & support, the schools, and after school programs in the area. Decreasing gang activity is not accomplished by stereotyping, arresting or prosecuting or incarcerating people for merely knowing one another or being around one another (not engaging in illicit activities). I am very concerned about the bigger issue regarding this gang injunction. Who is a gang member, what do these gang members look like (thats real scary territory), what are the credentials of the persons who determine who is and is not, and by using what tools?

    As for the 20 + citizens that protested: its the message, not the numbers. Many others are probably too afraid to speak up or show themselves for fear of being called a gang member or someone who associates with them.

  9. “As for the 20 + citizens that protested: its the message, not the numbers. Many others are probably too afraid to speak up or show themselves for fear of being called a gang member or someone who associates with them. “

    That’s a good point. Another point is that you are dealing with people who have to work during the middle of the day and having to travel to Woodland from West Sacramento, fact is, not a lot of people are going to show up for that kind of event giving the time of day and location.

  10. “As for the 20 + citizens that protested: its the message, not the numbers. Many others are probably too afraid to speak up or show themselves for fear of being called a gang member or someone who associates with them. “

    That’s a good point. Another point is that you are dealing with people who have to work during the middle of the day and having to travel to Woodland from West Sacramento, fact is, not a lot of people are going to show up for that kind of event giving the time of day and location.

  11. “As for the 20 + citizens that protested: its the message, not the numbers. Many others are probably too afraid to speak up or show themselves for fear of being called a gang member or someone who associates with them. “

    That’s a good point. Another point is that you are dealing with people who have to work during the middle of the day and having to travel to Woodland from West Sacramento, fact is, not a lot of people are going to show up for that kind of event giving the time of day and location.

  12. “As for the 20 + citizens that protested: its the message, not the numbers. Many others are probably too afraid to speak up or show themselves for fear of being called a gang member or someone who associates with them. “

    That’s a good point. Another point is that you are dealing with people who have to work during the middle of the day and having to travel to Woodland from West Sacramento, fact is, not a lot of people are going to show up for that kind of event giving the time of day and location.

  13. I’m not conflicted either because not only am I long time resident of West Sacramento, but I’ve also done violent crime statistical research for Yolo County using the FBI Crime Index, as reported by the Department of Justice, State of California and while I am of the belief that “while statistics are good to lean on, but they hardly ever shed much light” (a quote I saw somewhere) the fact of the matter is, is that West Sacramento’s Violent crime was on the DECLINE in 2004/2005 and interestingly enough, in 2006 (when the injunction was in place for that entire year), violent crime ROSE. So, there, the injunction did NOT stop crime from happening in WEST SACRAMENTO!!!

    Furthermore, when the City incorporated years ago it was done so to NOT divide the communities within that area (Broderick/Bryte & West Sacramento) and what this injunction has done is to once again DIVIDE the communities up again, especially the police department when they keep track of stats by dividing up the city.

    This kind of nonsense needs to STOP and it needs to START with the abolishment of this effort to criminalize the Latino Communities of WEST SACRAMENTO.

    –mrsedeet

  14. I’m not conflicted either because not only am I long time resident of West Sacramento, but I’ve also done violent crime statistical research for Yolo County using the FBI Crime Index, as reported by the Department of Justice, State of California and while I am of the belief that “while statistics are good to lean on, but they hardly ever shed much light” (a quote I saw somewhere) the fact of the matter is, is that West Sacramento’s Violent crime was on the DECLINE in 2004/2005 and interestingly enough, in 2006 (when the injunction was in place for that entire year), violent crime ROSE. So, there, the injunction did NOT stop crime from happening in WEST SACRAMENTO!!!

    Furthermore, when the City incorporated years ago it was done so to NOT divide the communities within that area (Broderick/Bryte & West Sacramento) and what this injunction has done is to once again DIVIDE the communities up again, especially the police department when they keep track of stats by dividing up the city.

    This kind of nonsense needs to STOP and it needs to START with the abolishment of this effort to criminalize the Latino Communities of WEST SACRAMENTO.

    –mrsedeet

  15. I’m not conflicted either because not only am I long time resident of West Sacramento, but I’ve also done violent crime statistical research for Yolo County using the FBI Crime Index, as reported by the Department of Justice, State of California and while I am of the belief that “while statistics are good to lean on, but they hardly ever shed much light” (a quote I saw somewhere) the fact of the matter is, is that West Sacramento’s Violent crime was on the DECLINE in 2004/2005 and interestingly enough, in 2006 (when the injunction was in place for that entire year), violent crime ROSE. So, there, the injunction did NOT stop crime from happening in WEST SACRAMENTO!!!

    Furthermore, when the City incorporated years ago it was done so to NOT divide the communities within that area (Broderick/Bryte & West Sacramento) and what this injunction has done is to once again DIVIDE the communities up again, especially the police department when they keep track of stats by dividing up the city.

    This kind of nonsense needs to STOP and it needs to START with the abolishment of this effort to criminalize the Latino Communities of WEST SACRAMENTO.

    –mrsedeet

  16. I’m not conflicted either because not only am I long time resident of West Sacramento, but I’ve also done violent crime statistical research for Yolo County using the FBI Crime Index, as reported by the Department of Justice, State of California and while I am of the belief that “while statistics are good to lean on, but they hardly ever shed much light” (a quote I saw somewhere) the fact of the matter is, is that West Sacramento’s Violent crime was on the DECLINE in 2004/2005 and interestingly enough, in 2006 (when the injunction was in place for that entire year), violent crime ROSE. So, there, the injunction did NOT stop crime from happening in WEST SACRAMENTO!!!

    Furthermore, when the City incorporated years ago it was done so to NOT divide the communities within that area (Broderick/Bryte & West Sacramento) and what this injunction has done is to once again DIVIDE the communities up again, especially the police department when they keep track of stats by dividing up the city.

    This kind of nonsense needs to STOP and it needs to START with the abolishment of this effort to criminalize the Latino Communities of WEST SACRAMENTO.

    –mrsedeet

  17. Hey everyone, don’t forget there’s big money in gang fighting grants offered by the US Department of Justice and other parts of the government. Reisig can’t get the money unless he can prove there’s a gang problem. With the money he can expand the size of his office, increase his power and notoriety, and continue to exploit Yolo County and its residents to pump up his visibility and make himself look like a hero for his next political career move. Of course, that doesn’t tell you why he doesn’t go after the gangs in Woodland — that’s probably because that’s where most of his election support came from, and he doesn’t want to restrict his supporters’ liberties, because they wouldn’t like it either.

  18. Hey everyone, don’t forget there’s big money in gang fighting grants offered by the US Department of Justice and other parts of the government. Reisig can’t get the money unless he can prove there’s a gang problem. With the money he can expand the size of his office, increase his power and notoriety, and continue to exploit Yolo County and its residents to pump up his visibility and make himself look like a hero for his next political career move. Of course, that doesn’t tell you why he doesn’t go after the gangs in Woodland — that’s probably because that’s where most of his election support came from, and he doesn’t want to restrict his supporters’ liberties, because they wouldn’t like it either.

  19. Hey everyone, don’t forget there’s big money in gang fighting grants offered by the US Department of Justice and other parts of the government. Reisig can’t get the money unless he can prove there’s a gang problem. With the money he can expand the size of his office, increase his power and notoriety, and continue to exploit Yolo County and its residents to pump up his visibility and make himself look like a hero for his next political career move. Of course, that doesn’t tell you why he doesn’t go after the gangs in Woodland — that’s probably because that’s where most of his election support came from, and he doesn’t want to restrict his supporters’ liberties, because they wouldn’t like it either.

  20. Hey everyone, don’t forget there’s big money in gang fighting grants offered by the US Department of Justice and other parts of the government. Reisig can’t get the money unless he can prove there’s a gang problem. With the money he can expand the size of his office, increase his power and notoriety, and continue to exploit Yolo County and its residents to pump up his visibility and make himself look like a hero for his next political career move. Of course, that doesn’t tell you why he doesn’t go after the gangs in Woodland — that’s probably because that’s where most of his election support came from, and he doesn’t want to restrict his supporters’ liberties, because they wouldn’t like it either.

  21. I find interesting parallels between this post and the last on on the D4 race. Even though the DA is non-partisan, it is being held by a consrvative, or Republican, or whatever. But even though it is non-partisan, the ideology of the individual is apparent, given his Bush-like approach at creating an ememy to fight, and trying to preemptively punish the supposed criminals who haven’t been tried or convicted, but who already have their rights taken away.
    Ideology does matter, and which party you affiliate with exposes that ideology.
    So, do you want a conservative in D4, or in the DA’s office?

  22. I find interesting parallels between this post and the last on on the D4 race. Even though the DA is non-partisan, it is being held by a consrvative, or Republican, or whatever. But even though it is non-partisan, the ideology of the individual is apparent, given his Bush-like approach at creating an ememy to fight, and trying to preemptively punish the supposed criminals who haven’t been tried or convicted, but who already have their rights taken away.
    Ideology does matter, and which party you affiliate with exposes that ideology.
    So, do you want a conservative in D4, or in the DA’s office?

  23. I find interesting parallels between this post and the last on on the D4 race. Even though the DA is non-partisan, it is being held by a consrvative, or Republican, or whatever. But even though it is non-partisan, the ideology of the individual is apparent, given his Bush-like approach at creating an ememy to fight, and trying to preemptively punish the supposed criminals who haven’t been tried or convicted, but who already have their rights taken away.
    Ideology does matter, and which party you affiliate with exposes that ideology.
    So, do you want a conservative in D4, or in the DA’s office?

  24. I find interesting parallels between this post and the last on on the D4 race. Even though the DA is non-partisan, it is being held by a consrvative, or Republican, or whatever. But even though it is non-partisan, the ideology of the individual is apparent, given his Bush-like approach at creating an ememy to fight, and trying to preemptively punish the supposed criminals who haven’t been tried or convicted, but who already have their rights taken away.
    Ideology does matter, and which party you affiliate with exposes that ideology.
    So, do you want a conservative in D4, or in the DA’s office?