An Orange County Superior Court judge has reversed a previous order to close an upcoming gang injunction hearing to the public.
The hearing before Judge Franz E. Miller on a complaint filed by District Attorney Tony Rackauckas regarding a gang in Santa Ana’s Townsend Street neighborhood is scheduled to start July 29 and will be open to the public.
However, case documents remain under seal until the hearing. Miller’s original order stated that the plaintiffs sought the closure, yet DA spokeswoman Farrah Emami told Voice of OC that her office did not seek a closed hearing.
Rackauckas is asking the court to create a safety zone in a .39-square-mile area surrounding Townsend Street with a restraining order that would restrict the activities of the Townsend Street gang, including 29 individuals named as active participants in the gang.
Earlier this month, a dozen Santa Ana residents, activists and youth advocates showed up to a Santa Ana City Council meeting to speak out against the DA’s request for the injunction.
The speakers urged the city to meet with community members and collaborate on solutions that focus on gang prevention and intervention, rather than police suppression via a gang injunction that would curtail the movement and activities of both juveniles and adults in the Townsend Street neighborhood.
The DA’s complaint describes the 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.
It goes on to claim that Townsend Street “gang participants” have been involved in two murders, two attempted murders, 22 incidents involving the sale or possession of guns or dangerous weapons, as well as two dozen drug or paraphernalia violations.
Voice of OC contributing writer Yvette Cabrera reported on this article.