Judge to Decide on New Santa Ana Gang Injunction

A local judge will rule this week on whether to approve a controversial new Santa Ana gang injunction, which would curtail the movement and activities of both juveniles and adults in the Townsend Street neighborhood.

The district attorney’s office, which said it will seek the order on Tuesday, describes the Townsend Street gang as a violent, criminal, “turf-oriented Hispanic street gang” that has sold and used illegal drugs, assaulted rival gangs, and intimidated, threatened and assaulted community members.

Gang injunctions have been an effective tool to combat street gangs and improve neighborhood safety across Orange County, the DA’s office argues.

At the same time, several Santa Ana residents, activists and youth advocates have spoken out against the gang injunction request, urging the city to meet with community members and collaborate on solutions that focus on gang prevention and intervention.

That approach, they said, would be more effective than police suppression via a gang injunction.

While Judge Franz E. Miller originally closed the hearing to the public, he later reversed that ruling.

The hearing starts Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. in Department C14 of the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana.

You can reach Nick Gerda at [email protected], and follow him on Twitter: @nicholasgerda.