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City Seeks New Court Order to Suppress 18th Street Gang

April 18, 2002|LAURA LOH | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The city of Los Angeles is seeking an injunction to prohibit 18th Street gang members in the Pico-Union area from gathering in public, officials are expected to announce today.

A 1997 injunction against the gang was suspended soon after the Rampart police corruption scandal surfaced in late 1999. A Los Angeles Superior Court judge dissolved the injunction in February.

Authorities say the gang has openly engaged in drug dealing, vandalism and intimidation in the area, which is patrolled by the Los Angeles Police Department's Rampart Station.

"The community was telling us that the gangsters were ... more brazen," said Assistant City Atty. Marty Vranicar, who heads the gang unit of the city attorney's office.

The new injunction being sought by city and county prosecutors is based on declarations of police officers who replaced the anti-gang CRASH officers involved in the scandal.

"We obviously had to wait some period of time before the LAPD could reconstitute the new gang detail ... and until the new officers became familiar with the gangs they were responsible for," Vranicar said.

The complaint seeking the injunction names 29 gang members and targets a three-quarter-square-mile area bounded by James M. Wood Boulevard to the north, the Harbor Freeway to the east, the Santa Monica Freeway to the south and Hoover Street to the west.

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