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California Briefing / Orange

ACLU challenges gang injunction

September 24, 2009|Paloma Esquivel

The American Civil Liberties Union on Tuesday filed a class-action lawsuit in federal court alleging a gang injunction against the Orange Varrio Cypress gang violates due-process rights.

According to the suit, the Orange County district attorney's office has blocked individuals from contesting their status as gang members. In May, the district attorney's office dismissed suits against dozens of people named in the injunction but has since served many of the same individuals again, according to the suit.

The approach fails to give individuals a chance to challenge their status, according to the ACLU. Prosecutor John Anderson said similar injunctions have been upheld by the state Supreme Court.

The injunction forbids those tied to the gang from associating with each other. It bars them from carrying weapons, using gang signs, wearing gang-affiliated clothes and imposes a curfew.

It also creates a 3.78-square-mile "safety zone," which covers about 16% of the city.

-- Paloma Esquivel

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