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Some Los Angeles area groups are meeting with residents to oppose Echo Park gang injunction

After a two-year and $45-million rehabilitation, Echo Park Lake will reopen on June 15, 2013.
Todd Johnson/KPCC
After a two-year and $45-million rehabilitation, Echo Park Lake will reopen on June 15, 2013.

Most gang injunctions are easily approved in court if no legal opposition is filed against it. But the proposed gang injunction for the Echo Park area could be challenged.

Neighborhood residents have been meeting about the proposed injunction. Some of them have teamed up with the advocacy group Youth Justice Coalition, which opposes it. 

Gang injunctions are civil court orders against gangs and its alleged members. They make it illegal for named gang members to associate in public areas, to possess guns, ammunition, weapons, tools to make graffiti or drink alcohol in public.

Former city attorney Carmen Trutanich announced the proposed gang injunction in June. It lists six area gangs and 310 "John Does" as alleged members of those gangs.

The injunction would cover a 3.8 square mile area roughly bounded by the L.A. River, the 110 Freeway, Beverly Boulevard and Glendale Boulevard.

“These rival gangs named in the injunction have feuded for many years, resulting in extensive graffiti vandalism, aggravated assaults, shootings, and murders,” the city’s press release stated.

But some residents working with the Youth Justice Coalition and other grassroots criminal justice organizations say Echo Park has enjoyed lower crime rates lately as compared to 20 years ago.

Ana Muniz with the Youth Justice Coalition claims the gang injunction would push out Latino families who have lived in the neighborhood for generations.

“Echo Park has been this battle ground of people opposing displacement,” she said.

The proposed injunction was filed in the final days of Trutanich’s administration as city attorney.  L.A.’s current city attorney Mike Feuer has told some Elysian Park residents that he would take a closer look at the proposed injunction, the EastsiderLA blog reports.

An August 21 court hearing is scheduled for the Echo Park injunction.