Can Echo Park Hipsters be Safe From Gangs?
Mark Peacock / LA Weekly Flickr pool
The City Attorney's office wants to create a 3.8 mile gang-free zone around Echo Park. Perhaps it's a sign of gentrification and the need to protect hipsters on the streets.
It'll be an uphill battle. To be fair, the office calls it a "safety zone" and doesn't seem to go so far as to say these barrios could be gang-free. The legal term for this crackdown is a gang injunction. And prosecutors said they filed requests for injunctions that would cover six gangs that surround the newly renovated Echo Park Lake:
Big Top Locos, Crazys, Diamond Street Locos, Echo Park Locos, Frogtown and Head Hunters.
The injunctions seek to quash crime in an area bounded by the L.A. River to the north, First Street to the south, the 110 freeway to the east, and North Coronado Street to the west.
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If granted, the injunctions could add extra penalties and time behind bars for members of those sets who are caught hanging out with each other in public, intimidating neighbors, possessing guns or drugs or even holding alcohol out in the open.
The injunctions add to others that cover 10 gangs, including Temple Street, Mara Salvatrucha, Avenues, Highland Park, and Toonerville, in areas east and northeast of downtown.
City Attorney Carment Trutanich:
Our residents have the right to enjoy all of our public areas, including Echo Park, free of gang crime and intimidation. This injunction will be an important tool in curbing the escalating criminal activity of these six rival gangs and bringing needed peace to our neighborhoods.
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