On February 21, 2012, Superior Court Judge Robert Freedman issued a preliminary injunction including all remaining defendants in the City’s lawsuit against the Norteños gang. Judge Freedman made no changes to the order submitted by the City Attorney’s Office.
The order essentially concludes the trial that commenced almost a year and a half ago when the City of Oakland filed a civil lawsuit against the Norteños – one of the most violent and notorious gangs in the city.
Final Preliminary Injunction Order
BACKGROUND: On October 13, the City of Oakland filed a lawsuit for a targeted anti-gang injunction against the Norteños.
Oakland's lawsuit asked the court to include 40 adult members of the Norteños in the injunction based on their adult criminal records and their provable ties to the gang.
The Norteños are responsible for decades of murders, assaults, robberies and other crimes committed against residents and businesses in the Fruitvale District.
Criminal convictions for the 40 individuals named in this injunction include assault with a deadly weapon, robbery, dog fighting, burglary, carjacking, numerous gun crimes, cocaine and methamphetamine sales, shooting at an occupied home, battery and domestic violence.
35 of the 40 defendants have claimed on the record that they are members of the gang.
Within the zone covered by the injunction, enjoined gang members will be restricted from carrying guns, menacing or assaulting witnesses, recruiting young people, selling drugs, associating with each other in public and being on the street during late night hours (10 p.m. to 5 a.m.). There are clear exceptions to the last two restrictions for work, school, religious activities and emergencies.
Oakland's two injunctions are similar to restraining orders against individuals. They are designed to restrict the criminal activity of specific gang members in an area called a “Safety Zone.”
All defendants had due process rights and the opportunity to a hearing. They were only included with approval from the court based on clear and convincing evidence of criminal behavior in the neighborhood.
Importantly, anyone who leaves the gang can go through an opt-out process to be removed from the injunction.