» Notable Cases

Norteños Gang Injunction

Oakland sues Norteños street gang, seeks targeted injunction to protect Fruitvale community

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 (February 21, 2012)

BACKGROUND: On October 13, the City of Oakland filed a lawsuit for a targeted anti-gang injunction against the Norteños.

Miedo vs. Hechos: Mandamiento Judicial de Oakland

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. From the declaration of OPD Officer Keely

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. From the order

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.

Oakland’s first injunction – against 15 members of the North Side Oakland gang – was ordered June 3, 2010 by Superior Court Judge Robert Freedman. A violation of the order is considered contempt of court – punishable by up to six months in jail and up to a $1,000 fine.

Reports to City Council:

Update to Joint Informational Report May 17, 2011

Joint OPD/City Attorney Informational Report to the Public Safety Committee on Oakland's Civil Gang Injunction Cases February 22, 2011

Power Point Presentation to the Committee February 22, 2011

Memo from Chief Batts to the City Council supporting civil gang injunctions February 22, 2011

Initial report to Public Safety Committee on use of civil gang injunctions February 9, 2010


Gang injunction granted Bay Area News Group June 25, 2011

Oakland council right on gang injunctions Oakland Tribune editorial May 19, 2011

What's there to discuss? The injunctions work Chip Johnson in the San Francisco Chronicle May 17, 2011

Cops: gang defendant had rifle strapped to chest SF Gate April 6, 2011

Davis wrong about facts of gang injunctions Oakland Tribune March 16, 2011
Versión en Español: Miedo vs. Hechos: Mandamiento Judicial de Oakland

Voices of reason finally emerge in gang injunction debate Tammerlin Drummond in the Oakland Tribune March 2, 2011

Public should have reasonable expectation of safety Byron Williams in the Oakland Tribune February 6, 2011

Activists ought to be concerned about welfare of law-abiding residents Tammerlin Drummond in the Oakland Tribune December 15, 2010

Gil Gross Program KGO Radio December 10, 2010

Target in fatal North Oakland shooting had been named in gang injunction Oakland Tribune December 8, 2010

Attorney in gang case has ties to City Hall SF Chronicle November 26, 2010

Activists oppose proposed injunction against Norteños gang members KTVU November 11, 2010

Injunctions needed to stop random violence Community op-ed in the Oakland Tribune November 3, 2010

Pandillas violentas en la mira de Oakland y Hayward Visión Hispana October 23, 2010

Oakland to seek Fruitvale anti-gang injunction SF Chronicle October 13, 2010

Oakland seeks another gang injunction CBS5 October 13, 2010

Gang injunction opponent winds up in jail ABC 7 September 15, 2010

Oakland gang injunction is a chance to save lives Open Forum in the SF Chronicle May 26, 2010
El mandato judicial antipandillas en Oakland es una oportunidad para salvar vidas

Gang injunction is a tool worth trying in Oakland Oakland Tribune editorial May 25, 2010

KPFA Morning Show April 21, 2010

Viewpoint: Are gang injunctions worth the cost? American City & County April 14, 2010

Oakland gang injunction KQED Forum February 23, 2010

Oakland asks court to OK squeeze on gang members SF Chronicle February 19, 2010

Gang crackdown underway in North Oakland ABC7 February 18, 2010

Fruitvale Safety Zone

Court Documents:

Court of Appeal Opinion June 23, 2014

Final Preliminary Injunction Order February 21, 2012

Preliminary Injunction Order "Phase 1"

[Proposed] Order Granting Preliminary Injunction
Memorandum of Points & Authorities
Notice/Motion for Preliminary Injunction
Expert Declaration of OPD Officer Keely
Expert Declaration of OPD Captain Allison
Expert Declaration of OPD Officer Guerrero
Declaration of Oakland Percipient Witness Police Officers
Declaration of Attorney Hynes

Fact Sheets:

Anti-Gang Injunction Fact Sheet
En Español

The Norteños "are the biggest, most well organized, and the most violent. Of all the gangs, they care more about pure violence rather than maintaining a drug trade or other occupation." From the declaration of OPD Capt. Allison