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Silver Lake Neighborhood Council Tackles Thorny Issue of Gang Injunction

Silver Lake Neighborhood Council Tackles Thorny Issue of Gang Injunction
mr.skelton/Flickr

Forbes and Money magazine may think it's the best neighborhood in the United States, but a part of Silver Lake is facing a possible gang injunction, which would also cover Echo Park. Community activists are now figuring out if they should support it or not.

The Silver Lake Neighborhood Council will take that major step tonight when they consider a motion to officially come out against the gang injunction. Opponents of the injunction plan to show up at the public meeting in force.

Youth Justice Coalition, a social justice group, is organizing its members to make sure the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council most definitely says "no" to the injunction.

Silver Lake has been home to left-wingers and radicals of all persuasions for decades -- the kind of bunch that would usually be wary of such a law enforcement tool -- but it's no sure thing that the neighborhood council will oppose the gang injunction.

At previous Silver Lake Neighborhood Council meetings in which the topic of the gang injunction was brought up, many members on the 21-person elected board appeared receptive to City Attorney Mike Feuer's position, as well as the position of the Los Angeles Police Department, that an injunction was needed. Thirteenth District City Councilman Mitch O'Farrell also supports it.

Yet the ACLU has joined Youth Justice Coalition to oppose the injunction.

ACLU believes a gang injunction threatens civil liberties while the Youth Justice Coalition says it can criminalize innocent youth and make community members within a gang injunction zone subject to constant pat downs and frisks by the police, among other things.

LAPD and city attorney officials have said that crime in Echo Park has been disproportionately caused by gangs.

The Silver Lake Neighborhood Council meeting will take place at 7 p.m. tonight at the Micheltorena Elementary School Auditorium.

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