The city attorney Thursday sought court orders against members of four local street gangs in the Mission and Western Addition neighborhoods, after a similar move in November reportedly curtailed violence in a section of the Bayview district.
After filing a lawsuit in Superior Court, Dennis Herrera announced in a news conference that he is seeking civil injunctions against the Norteños in a roughly 60-square-block section of the Mission district, and the Eddy Rock gang and rivals Knock Out Posse and Chopper City in two six-block sections of the Western Addition.
The Mission has seen two fatal shootings and a stabbing in recent days, and the Western Addition was the scene of two separate shootings last week that injured six teenagers and one adult.
Herrera, who has authority over nuisance abatement as well as civil litigation on behalf of San Francisco, sued for an injunction against the notorious Oakdale Mob in the Bayview district last fall. He said Thursday that after the injunction went into effect, calls to police in the four-block “safety zone” affected by the injunction had been reduced by about 75 percent.
The new safety zones are bigger than that in Oakdale. In addition, many more members of the gangs live within the safety zones than do in the Oakdale zone. The injunction makes activities such as associating, loitering during certain hours and flashing hand signs — including the “OK” and “thumbs up” signs — criminal misdemeanors when performed by named gang members.
Western Addition resident and African American Community Police Relations Board member Daniel Landry said Thursday that his organization and other community groups had not been asked for input on the injunction effort. “I don’t think the homework has been done,” Landry said. “There’s a big gap between City Hall, the police and the grass roots of the area.”
Herrera countered that the injunction had been written with input from community members. His spokesman Matt Dorsey said the office maintains “ongoing contact with citizens and community groups citywide.” He said, “The outcry for a stepped-up response to gang-related problems has been deafening.”
The Oakdale Mob injunction last year sparked opposition from civil liberties groups, who said the prohibitions were too broad.
Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, whose district includes the Western Addition, said he supports the injunction as a “strategy that helps get to the root cause of violence.” But he cautioned, “I don’t want injunctive relief simply to be a tool for the eradication of a population.”