» Notable Cases

Oakland Gang Injunction

Court grants order to restrict violent North Oakland gang

Oct. 31, 2011 -- Appeals Court upholds ruling against North Side Oakland gang

On June 2, 2010, Superior Court Judge Freedman ordered an injunction to disrupt the operations of a violent criminal enterprise responsible for dozens of shootings, robberies and other major crimes in North Oakland in recent years.

The injunction is based on the demands of many residents and merchants in the area. It is sharply focused on stopping the violence in our community while giving those responsible an opportunity to leave the criminal life.

Full OPD/City Attorney report to Public Safety Committee

An injunction is similar to a restraining order. It is designed to restrict the criminal organization's ability to plan and commit more crimes within an area called a Safety Zone (Map).

The City sought an injunction against the North Side Oakland crime organization because of the severe and increasing violence associated with its members. In 2007, there were three NSO-related incidents involving murder, shooting or gun possession. In 2008, that number rose to seven incidents. In 2009 that escalated to 18 incidents, including seven murders.

The injunction will only apply to adults. It will initially apply to 15 NSO members based on their records of criminal and nuisance activity, including convictions for armed robbery, felony drunk driving, drug sales, carjacking, grand theft, domestic battery and other major crimes. One has a pending case for assault with a deadly weapon and threatening a witness not to testify. All evidence is filed with the court and open to the public.

Restrictions include:

  • Do not associate with other enjoined gang members in public (see proposed order for exceptions).
  • Do no confront, intimidate or assault witnesses.
  • Do not possess firearms or dangerous weapons.
  • Stay away from drugs.
  • No trespassing.
  • No gang recruitment.
  • Follow time restrictions.

A violation of the injunction is considered contempt of court – punishable by up to six months in jail and up to a $1,000 fine.

Facts: This injunction is narrowly tailored to protect the community's right to peace and safety, while only restricting those who are deeply involved in dangerous activity. It will not prevent anyone from attending school, work or religious activities. It will not ever prevent anyone from seeking medical care for themselves or their children.

All individuals covered by an injunction have due process rights – anyone added to the injunction will have the opportunity to argue their case in court, and they will only be included with approval from a judge. Anyone on the list who is no longer associated with the gang will be able to go through an “opt-out” process to be removed. Gang injunctions were upheld as constitutional by the CA Supreme Court in the 1997.


Appeals court upholds North Oakland gang injunction SF Chronicle November 1, 2011

Oakland council right on gang injunctions Oakland Tribune editorial May 19

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

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

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

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

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

Oakland City Attorney stands by gang injunctions KQED Radio November 15

A gang injunction could have saved my daughter's life Oakland North November 9

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

Public safety expectations left out of gang debate in Oakland Byron Williams in the Oakland Tribune October 21

Gang injunction opponent winds up in jail ABC 7 September 15

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

Why I support the Oakland gang injunction Oakland North Community Op-Ed May 26

Gang injunction is a tool worth trying in Oakland Oakland Tribune/Contra Costa Times editorial May 25

Oakland gang injunction needed to curb violence Chip Johnson in the SF Chronicle May 11

Matier & Ross in the SF Chronicle May 10

Must be careful with Oakland's gang injunction Byron Williams in the Oakland Tribune April 25

KPFA Morning Show April 21

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

Oakland gang injunction KQED Forum February 23

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

Gang crackdown underway in North Oakland ABC7 February 18


Can a civil gang injunction change a community? Maxson, Hennigan & Sloane 2005
Los Angeles County Grand Jury report on civil gang injunctions 2004
The effects of civil gang injunctions on reported violent crime Grogger 2002

More info:

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

Full OPD/City Attorney report to Public Safety Committee February 22, 2011

Power Point Presentation to the Committee February 22, 2011

Letter from Haddad & Sherwin, attorneys for defendant Young May 21, 2010

Response to letter from the Paul Robeson Chapter of the ACLU of Northern CA May 20, 2010

Letter from Paul Robeson Chapter May 17, 2010

Map by SF Chronicle

evidence photo recovered gun
Evidence photo: Loaded .38 revolver recovered from burglary suspects in April 2010 with markings "NSO" (North Side Oakland) and "Ice City"

Court Documents:
First Appellate District Ruling 10/31/11

Defense Opening Brief Court of Appeal

Joint Status Report 9/15/11
Proposed Order (Updated)
Attachment to Order: Opt Out Form
Consolidated Reply Brief (Response to ACLU, Young)
Reply to Young's Objections to Evidence
Supplemental Brief
Points and Authorities
Ex Parte Application
Order to Show Cause
Clark Expert Dec (Redact)
Cunnie Expert Dec (Redact)
Cunnie Supplemental Dec
Cunnie 2nd Supplemental Dec
Gerrans Expert Dec (Redact)
Gerrans Supplemental Dec
Trode Expert Dec (Redact)
Llamas Etc. Expert Dec Supplemental (Redact)
Ortiz Expert Dec (Redact)
BPD Expert Dec Sgt. Hong (Redact)
BPD Expert Dec Sgt. Stines (Redact)
EPD Officer Alton Dec
EPD Sgt. Diotalevi Dec
Request for Judicial Notice -- Research on Injunctions

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder quoted in the SF Chronicle May 12:
"We don't want to get tough on crime, we want to get smart on crime, and that necessarily means building relationships and building trust between law enforcement and the communities that law enforcement is supposed to serve," Holder said.
Holder cited the city's proposed gang injunction in North Oakland as "ways in which we can be creative" in going after offenders and protecting "people who are most in need."