Campos Wants to Expand Gang Injunction

How far do citizens’ rights to assemble freely extend? Citing an increasing gang presence in the city’s streets, Councilmember Nora Campos says it may be too far. The ACLU thinks differently.

The problem is gang violence. No one questions that this is a blight on the city, and the stabbing death of 15-year-old in gang territory earlier this month is just one example of the horrors that can be inflicted on children and families. Just last year, half of the city’s 29 homicides were gang-related.

That’s why San Jose was one of the first cities in California to enact a “gang injunction,” prohibiting gangs from gathering in certain areas across the city. It was a bold, if controversial, step, but Campos now thinks that it was not enough. She wants the Mayor’s Gang Prevention Task Force to extend the rule.

At present, the injunction is only in effect in West San Jose, where the Surenos hang out. If Campos has her way, however, it would be extended to East and Central San Jose and parts of the downtown area. “I think these proposals and policies will give us an opportunity to refocus our resources and use them directly in hot spot areas in the city of San Jose that have been having a high increase of violence,” she says.

The ACLU disagrees. They argue that it would violate the gang members’ basic civil rights and lead to racial profiling by the police. According to Robert Rios, a former gang member who now serves on the Mayor’s Task Force, too many people could end up harassed by the police or even arrested for wearing the wrong colors. Instead, he prefers that outreach efforts to gang members be expanded.

But Campos has some powerful supporters, including County Supervisor George Shirakawa, who coauthored Campos’s bill, which is now being presented to the Task Force. Its approval is required before it goes before City Council for a vote.
Read More at ABC 7.
Read More at KCBS.

41 Comments

  1. She has been on the Council for 9 years. Why wait till your running for Assembly? Funny she is first to criticize police and then use them as a political pawn in her campaign.

  2. What ever happened to parental responsibility?  Aren’t parents supposed to be legally responsible for their minor children?
    If the Merc News ran the photo of parents of youths committing crimes one would have to believe that crimes committed by minors would drop significantly.

    If an adult realizes that they could be publicly displayed as a poor parent – you can bet that they would keep a closer watch on their offspring.

    • “If an adult realizes that they could be publicly displayed as a poor parent – you can bet that they would keep a closer watch on their offspring.”

      How naive! You don’t really think your values re parenting are held by everyone, do you?

      If the parents of gang members ever had control of their kids, they lost it long before the kids entered middle school.

      Most gang members are losers who have no hope of anything except CYA, and either Soledad, Folsom, Corchoran, or Pelican Bay when they become adults.

  3. > Instead, he prefers that outreach efforts to gang members be expanded.

    So, would some nice touchy feely hopey changey sensitive compassionate Prius-driving Obama-gushing liberal please explain to me what is meant by “outreach efforts to gang members”?

    Is that when you hold your wallet out to them and hope they don’t knife you?

  4. If a certain Councilwoman had an original thought, it would die of loneliness. 

    As for gang outreach, that would best be done by vigilantes armed with shotguns.

  5. I applaud Council member Campos’ efforts to further reduce gang violence in our City. Gang violence and illegal activity is a problem for our city, period.

    Now as to how to achieve this goal…as they say, the devil is in the details. However, what we know is that gangs and gang violence is spreading. Sadly, it will only get worse if the City Council votes to further cut neighborhood services which offer alternative, positive activities (parks, pools, libraries for example) where kids can hang out and families can bond.

    Instead of taking potshots at one council member, in this case Ms. Campos, how about the smart minds on SJI offer realistic solutions and suggestions on how effective gang or potential gang member outreach can be achieved? If you don’t like the injunction idea, how about suggesting alternatives? Everyone stands to benefit.

    Tina

    • I agree with Tina. At least Nora is taking a stand to protect children from harm. She always has since they day she was elected. We need to support her efforts and find ways to protect our children from a life of crime. It takes a village to raise a child.

    • I guess I’m just not as idealistic as the two of you are. I see her move simply as a calculated bit of grandstanding in an attempt to be elected to a position well above her competency level. I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree on this.

  6. “At present, the injunction is only in effect in West San Jose,”  Since when?  The first couple of injunctions were on the East Side several years ago.  I can’t remember the details now, but wasn’t it Seven Trees and Lucretia?

    Gangs have been in abundance in the East Side for decades…and Nora finally woke up???  HELLO!

    Oh, and here comes the ACLU defending the “basic civil rights” of known gang members.  They are close to being terrorist sympathizers with that sort of argument. Gangs terroize the neighborhoods in their precious turf, and we’re supposed to be sympathetic to their RIGHTS?

    How much more of a loser can you possibly be when you get a charge out of vandalizing other peoples’ property with your stupid gang signs?  Why do we continue to coddle these thugs?

  7. > If you don’t like the injunction idea, how about suggesting alternatives? Everyone stands to benefit.

    How about using stimulus funds and taping hundred dollar bills to ACORN ID cards and then stuffing them in every mailbox in East San Jose.

    We could count every one in East San Jose as a “job saved”, and at the same time, claim a couple hundred thousand new voters based on statistical sampling.

  8. For anything to work it must involve the police and the community working together. I met wonderful women named Bonita Carter-Cox (Martin Luther King Assoc.) at a Victims Rights rally. We decided that we should work together in reaching out to the community.
    I learned from a third party that the Freedom Train lost several sponsors and were turned down by other groups. The train that honored a great man with great ideas was short of funds. I volunteered to ask other law enforcement groups for money. Several groups gave money immediately. An amazing thing happened a few groups began spewing messages of hate. They called for a boycott of the Freedom Train.
    The Freedom Train was a success. Now there is a call for a boycott of the major fund raiser for the MLK board. Who will suffer the children that count on this money to help with their future. Several council members seem to be honoring the call for the boycott and will not be attending this event. Maybe they should try to help our children before they become gang members not after.
    The SJPOA should pull the endorsement of any politician that does not attend this event. They will have shown what they really think of law enforcement and those good people that want to make a difference.
    I would remind those groups the law enforcement is made up of men and women of all colors. We have come a long ways and we can go further

    • Bobby, thanks to everyone at the SJPD. Your guys and gals do a great job, and are supported by the vast silent majority.

      Which city council members are honoring the call for a boycott and not attending? I would like to know so I don’t vote for them.

      Thanks again.

      • SJPD…great job…yeah right.  If you mean hanging around at the local liquor store chatting up a storm and having the operator on the phone tell you there are no police officers in your area…I don’t think so.

        SJPD needs to sort out all the racist, crooked cops they got in their system.  No one would be left.

      • Steve,
        Word on the 18th floor is Sam Liccardo, recently endorsed by the SJPOA Madison Nguyen, Nora Campos, and Nancy Pyle aren’t going or sending an aide. Pete Constant is sending someone but can’t go, Pierluigi Oliverio isn’t going or sending anyone but with him you never know, Mayor’s out of town, Ash Kalra, and Vice Mayor Chirco hasn’t answered the invitation, Kansen Chu and Rose Herrera are going.

        Paul Fong and Joe Coto aren’t going or sending anyone either.

        • Any San Jose City council member who does not attend because the SJPOA gave $5,000 of their own member’s money to make the Freedom Train happen this year, are complete,absolute, unmitigated cowards and a disgrace. One of those council members mentioned should do another one of his surveys before he decides not to attend.

    • Bobby,

      These groups led by Jethroe Moore are spreading hate because Chief Davis didn’t buy a table or take out an advertisement in the NAACP’s Commerative Booklet for their 100 year anniversary gala. When Jethroe found out the POA donated to the Freedom Train he went on a hate campaign against the MLK calling them Jews taking money from the Nazi’s (POA). He and others also attacked the white members of the MLK Association saying that white people on a black board was an insult and slap in the face to the African American Community. They didn’t stop there.

      Lavell Pennington of the Live The Dream Foundation, some members of the Black Kitchen Cabinet, and Tony Alexander of the UFCW joined forces with the NAACP, Richard Konda of the Asian Law Alliance, Raj Jayadev of Silicon Valley De Bug and sent emails to the entire community badgering them into joining their boycott of the train and Mover of the Mountains and Scholarship Awards fund raiser held by MLK in March because the MLK Association wouldn’t give back the money you got them for the train.

      They sent the MLK Association an email copying the Mayor, Council, and the press. They demanded that the MLK Association refuse to recognize you or George Beattie at their event because they hate you and the police department and everything you stand for. A dirty secret that no one’s talking about but everyone knows is that larger groups are dying to get their hands on the Freedom Train for themselves. It is an easy money maker. That is probably why these groups are lying about the MLK contacting them for help in getting the money for the train. They were hoping the MLK failed to raise the money so they could steal the train out from under them. 

      One last word,  these groups don’t care about the money that could give a student the opportunity to attend college and follow in the footsteps of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  The only thing they care about is their own political agenda.

      • The POA is on the mailing list for the NAACP and the ASIAN LAW ALLIANCE I guess if the money goes through them then it is ok! What a group…

        • This information is shocking to me.  I feel that these groups should be ashamed of themselves.  Using strong arm tactics to intimidate the smaller groups to cower down and give in to this hatered.

  9. I am grateful I have come to the conclusion that I will not agree with my elected city leaders on every little point. Instead, I find that it serves me best to take a broader view and appreciate the common ground I can find while working hard (and respectfully!) to have those leaders hear my side of an issue. I have to know when to pick my battles and when to simply walk away.

    I see too many examples of something I’ll call “entitlement attitude” in our society. (“I earned it; I deserve it.” And “I’ve got mine Jack, now you go get yours.”)  It is a shame too, because many of our elected leaders may fundamentally agree with me/us on an issue but go about addressing that issue differently than I/we would. Sometimes their actions benefit in ways I hadn’t thought of, sometimes not.

    Thoughts to ponder for what they’re worth.

    Tina

  10. It’s really not all that difficult, folks.

    When police officers encounter known gang members gathered together in groups of two or more, the preferred method of dealing with this is as follows:
    1)  Lock them up;
    2)  Throw away the key.

    IMHO, there is NO justification for gang activity.  None.  Gang members are criminals by definition, and should be treated as such.  No amount of “outreach” or “jobs programs” will settle this problem – it calls for a straight-up punch in the mouth approach via SJPD and SCCSO. 

    Here’s how it can go down:
    1)  Clear out Elmwood and the Main Jail of the drunk drivers and recreational potheads.
    2)  Make it known that on a date certain, there will be a zero-tolerance policy for gang members, and any gang members caught hanging together will be instantly taken to the joint.
    3)  Vigorously enforce the precepts of items #1 and #2 above, and don’t let false cries of “raaaacism” and “intoooolerance” cloud this obvious public safety issue.

  11. The Mayor’s Gang Task Force is simply a jobs program for various individuals within City Hall, and for hand-picked young people for cushy summer jobs.  It refers all actual work on the ground to the Police Department, and the Task Force simply holds meetings to celebrate itself.  It is committed to a policy of talk-talk, not act-act.

    While violent crime statistics do not seem to support my next assertion, in fact, Council Member Campos has done more to gentrify her district than most city residents are aware.  There is no public voice in her district that opposes ripping up perfectly adequate housing stock and replacing it with high-price, multiple-story residential units. 

    Almost single-handedly, she has presided over a vast hollowing out of families with children in her district who cannot afford to live in her new housing developments.  They’ve had to go off to Tracy or Modesto, and commute here to work. That’s one reason why the school districts on the East Side are declining in enrollment rather than increasing.

    Do a Sunday afternoon drive-through her district to see the many, many changes that bar working class families with children from living there.

    The over-drawn threat to the lives and well-being of East Side residents is hyped by the Mercury News for the same reasons most irresponsible media do—if it bleeds, it leads.

    Regarding the use of judicial injunctions to intervene in gang activity, more power to Council Member Campos.  That’s a good thing.

    • There is no public voice in her district that opposes ripping up perfectly adequate housing stock and replacing it with high-price, multiple-story residential units. 

      Almost single-handedly, she has presided over a vast hollowing out of families with children in her district who cannot afford to live in her new housing developments.

      What are you talking about?  It is not the responsibility of East San Jose to provide housing for the poor.  Let Saratoga, Cupertino, etc. provide this housing.

      This really irks me.  Every neighborhood strives to improve, yet if East San Jose has an improvement then somebody whines because the poor have lost a place to live.

      Sorry.  If Nora really has done what you say then I say more power to her.  However, since I live in East San Jose I do not see this gentrification occuring.

      Also, where are all of these high-rise expensive housing developments?  There might be a few new apartment complexes, with the mandatory low-income units, but that is it.

  12. If the SJPD, City, and County want to pay extra attention to the members of gangs and stop them from doing specific things that are a nuisance to the community, fair enough. They file an injunction with a specific list of people they say are members of the gang and enjoin them from doing certain things in a specific area.

    However, the same community that is being “protected” must be guaranteed that they are not going to be mistaken for gang members and treated as such. I see no reason for people of color or their allies to trust the SJPD, City, or County to guarantee that a new Gang Injunction does not lead to increased harassment and arrests of young Latino and Black men.

    The SJPD and the City are already having a really hard time convincing Latinos, Black people, and increasing numbers of Asian folks that they are being treated fairly given:

    That 64% of resisting arrest charges are against Latinos compared to their 30% of the population of the city (http://www.protectsanjose.com/blogs/1-default/128-understanding-the-problem by Ed Rast on 11/11/09)

    and

    That the Latino arrest rate for public intoxication is 56.7% compared to the Latino population of San Jose which is 30.2%. (http://protectsanjose.com/blogs/1-neighborhood-leaders/142-look-closer-public-intoxication Ed Rast 12/2/09)

    • This should be a message to the Latino community that they need alcohol programs. As a culture the Latinos tend to be pretty heavy drinkers. Quit blaming the police for this.

    • However, the same community that is being “protected” must be guaranteed that they are not going to be mistaken for gang members and treated as such.

      Any male with a shaved head should be locked up for life just for being a dork.

      • Frank,

        A gang injunction is supposed to target gang members, not people who drink alcohol, and if you or anyone else has any scientific evidence to show that Latinos are more likely to drink heavily than white people, please share it.

        Dork,

        Fashion is not a crime, but racial profiling is.

        • I am Hispanic. I see it first hand in my community and family. There are also plenty of studies done to back up this conclusion. Also, if you could refrain from name calling it would add to your credibility.

  13. Do you really know all the facts in the ongoing public debate about San Jose police practices and arrest rates compared to other California cities?

    You might want to read my 13 blogs since my Nov 11th – Understanding the Problem blog on

    http://www.protectsanjose.com  to give you a better understanding of the issues in San Jose and other California cities

    1) One disappointing result of the focus on San Jose’s arrest rates is that the real story has been virtually ignored — except on Protect San Jose. 

    After analyzing California Department of Justice statewide arrest data, it becomes obvious that Latinos statewide are arrested for public intoxication, DUI, resisting arrest, and other crimes at a higher rate than their population percentages:

    The effects of excessive drinking on individuals, families, and communities are significant. 

    However, the overwhelming media attention directed at the SJPD has delayed a discussion of the multiple social, cultural, educational, and economic factors that have contributed to this statewide trend in arrest rates.

    These factors must be addressed in a thoughtful and positive manner if we are to reduce related crimes such as family abuse, improve the health of our community, and save the city, county, and courts millions of dollars.

    http://www.protectsanjose.com/blogs/1-neighborhood-leaders/203-looking-closer-a-qfinalq-report

    2) A few things to bear in mind while reviewing this arrest data:

    1.  California cities use different criteria to report crime statistics, making a wholly accurate comparison exceedingly difficult — if not impossible.  For example, Hayward reports all their public intoxication arrests under Penal Code 647(g) whereas San Diego reports 469 of its arrests under PC 647(g) and the others under PC 647(f).

    2.  San Jose is a well-known regional entertainment center that daily attracts thousands of non-resident visitors who patronize downtown nightclubs, sports events, music concerts, bars/other clubs, outdoor festivals, and other special events. 

    At most of these events, social drinking is commonplace and even encouraged as it is quite profitable for local businesses and generates thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in related city tax revenues.  In order to study this factor, I have requested a breakout of 2007 public intoxication arrests for residents and non-residents.

    Why is this important?  Well, for example, if 25% of Latinos arrested in San Jose are non-residents and 75% are residents, then our Latino resident arrest rate would stand at 42.53%.  While this is still twelve points above our Latino population, the difference is more in line with many other California cities (as evidenced by the previous charts).

    3.  Up until 2004, San Jose police had the option of holding people in a County-funded sobering station instead of officially charging them with public intoxication. Prior to recent changes mandated by the City Council, arrest was the only option an officer was provided.

    But even before the sobering station closed, many suspects could not be sent there because they were: repeat offenders; violent, aggressive, or threatening toward the staff;  too drunk to stand; or medically impaired. These individuals were sent to jail instead.  Regardless, the sobering station was closed by the County due to budget cuts similar to those made to public safety services in recent years by the City of San Jose.

    4.  Excessive and underage drinking in San Jose is not always controlled as it should be by event sponsors and businesses and the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control does not have sufficient enforcement personnel due to the state budget crisis. 

    Intoxicated individuals and groups can frequently be seen leaving night clubs, bars, outdoor festivals and large events, after which they sometimes engage in criminal acts such as property damage, harassment, assault, or — most commonly — driving under the influence.  This causes our residents, families, businesses, and city many problems and unnecessary financial costs.

    As you can see, this is a very complex subject with many more factors at work than the sometimes one-dimensional media coverage would suggest.  One cannot simply look at the sheer volume of arrests and make an informed comment. 

    http://protectsanjose.com/blogs/1-neighborhood-leaders/142-look-closer-public-intoxication

  14. Ed Rast,

    You write:

    “Latinos statewide are arrested for public intoxication, DUI, resisting arrest, and other crimes at a higher rate than their population percentages”

    This does not make the racially disproportionate rates of arrest for Latinos in San Jose acceptable. It means that police advocates like yourself accept racially disproportionate arrests of Latinos and are craven enough to use the state-wide nature of that racial disproportionality as a justification for ignoring the role that SJPD plays in its perpetuation here.

    You also say that:

    “if 25% of Latinos arrested in San Jose are non-residents and 75% are residents, then our Latino resident arrest rate would stand at 42.53%.”

    Are you asserting that 25% of the arrests of Latinos for drunk in public are of Latinos are non-residents? Even if your numbers were accurate, I still do not see why Latino and Black people in San Jose should trust the SJPD to use additional powers under a gang injunction when they already face racially disproportionate rates of arrest for drunk in public and resisting arrest charges.

  15. Tina and Downtownster:

    If you believe the census then that is up to you.  Even Tina admitted to the fact that studies have shown that Latinos don’t participate in some studies.  I believe what I see.  Go to Story and King and sit there for a few minutes.  Go just about anywhere in this city.  In California.  I’m not here to disparage the culture by any means.  All I’m saying is that if you think that this city is comprised of only 32.7% Hispanics then I’m afraid you are visually challenged.

    That is what the problem is.  People that look towards one data figure and go with it.  I respect what Ed Rast does.  He gives us a new way to look at the data.  However, some times it is just as clear to open your eyes and look around.  Once you eliminate the census numbers from the equation I think you see that many of the other numbers are more consistent and line up accordingly.

    Not sure how this relates to the topic of Campos…oh well.