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Oakland Wants Curfew for Street Gang

OAKLAND, Calif. (CN) - The Oakland city attorney seeks an injunction to prevent 42 suspected gang members from associating in a proposed safety zone in Oakland's Fruitvale district. The injunction would prohibit members of the Norteños gang from loitering, selling or possessing drugs and guns or intimidating residents in the 2 square miles in Central Oakland that the gang claims as its "turf."

City Attorney John Russo says gang members "stake out and claim different parts of the proposed safety zone as their 'turf,' by, among other things, shooting at other street gangs on public streets and in public places, defacing public and private property with gang graffiti, loitering in strategic public places in menacing numbers and intimidating the community in the proposed safety zone."

He claims gang members have shown weapons and attacked innocent people on the street, at bus stops and in other public places in the zone.

"Residents are virtual prisoners in their own homes and victims of defendants' battles against rival gangs, and the foreseeable retaliation by rival gangs against defendants. Residents hear shots fired in the night. Bullets strike and penetrate buildings and vehicles within the proposed safety zone. Many residents live in fear of shootings and random violence breaking out at any moment on the streets, sidewalks and local parks in their neighborhood," according to the 15-page complaint in Alameda County Court. It contains as an attachment a map of the zone.

The injunction would impose a curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., and violators could face jail time and fines.

Russo this summer sought an injunction against 15 members of the North Side Oakland Gang. An Alameda County judge granted that injunction in June.

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