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Permanent injunction issued
against 22 alleged Oakdale Mob gang members

By Julia Cheever, Bay City News Service

March 15, 2007

SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - A preliminary injunction restricting the activities of 22 alleged gang members in a four-block area of San Francisco was converted to a permanent injunction in Superior Court today.

No one appeared before San Francisco Superior Court Commissioner Susan Kaplan this morning to contest the indefinite continuation of a preliminary injunction issued in November against members of the so-called Oakdale Mob.

The permanent order signed by Kaplan bars 22 alleged gang members from associating with one another or carrying out crimes or nuisance activities in a four-block safety zone around the Oakdale public housing complex in the Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood.

It continues the terms of a preliminary injunction issued by Superior Court Judge Peter Busch on Nov. 29 in a civil lawsuit filed by the city attorney's office. The suit was based on a state law that prohibits nuisance activities.

City Attorney Dennis Herrera said, "I am extremely gratified that Commissioner Kaplan agreed with our assessment that the only way to eradicate the threat of violence posed by the Oakdale Mob was to extend our civil injunction against them indefinitely."

Herrera said, "Since the injunction was put in place last November, reports of positive change to the Bayview-Hunters Point district have flooded into my office.

"Children are playing outside, people are walking their dogs, and families are able to convene without the fear of being terrorized by the nuisance activities in which the members of the Oakdale Mob were engaged in this community," the city attorney said.

The injunction can be enforced through either civil contempt of court, with jail sentences of up to five days, or through prosecution for a criminal misdemeanor, with jail sentences of up to six months.

All but one of the 22 people named live outside San Francisco in areas including Fairfield, Vallejo and Daly City and allegedly commuted into the city to conduct illegal business, Herrera said.

The city's lawsuit, filed in September, contended that alleged drug dealing, murders, shootings, assaults, carjacking, robberies and intimidation of community residents by gang members amounted to "a severe public nuisance'' under the state law.

The use of a civil injunction against gang members under law was upheld by the California Supreme Court in 1997.

Herrera said such injunctions have been successfully used in Southern California and said he will work with police and the district attorney's office to continue the program in San Francisco.

Damone Hale, a lawyer for alleged gang member Shanteak Harris, said his client denies being a gang member and denies that there even is an Oakdale gang.

But Hale said he advised his client not to contest the permanent injunction because a full trial on the measure would have required burdensome legal proceedings such as depositions.

"The risk to my client is of being badgered and harassed through the process," Hale said.

The attorney said Busch made the injunction "livable and workable" last fall through several provisions.

Among other items, a curfew that bans nighttime loitering runs from midnight to 5:30 a.m. instead of beginning at 10 p.m. as originally proposed by city lawyers, Hale said.

The attorney also cited exceptions to a provision that generally prohibits the 22 individuals from appearing in public together in the four-block area. The exceptions are for church and class attendance and participation by three or fewer members in an anti-drug, anti-violence, anti-gang or charitable function.

Other parts of the injunction bar the 22 defendants from selling and possessing drugs, possessing guns, defacing property with graffiti, intimidating witnesses, coercing others to join the gang and trespassing on property not open to the general public, including the Oakdale housing complex.

Copyright © 2007 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.




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