Skip to content

City Attorney John Russo

New Oakland gang injunction sought for Fruitvale neighborhood

on October 13, 2010

City officials announced Wednesday that an injunction is being sought against 42 alleged Norteño gang members in Oakland’s Fruitvale neighborhood, the second such action this year to fight the city’s gang problem.

A ruling on whether to permit the injunction is scheduled Thursday in Alameda County Superior Court. If approved, the injunction would allow police officers more rein in arresting the named gang members for engaging in activities—mostly illegal already—considered consistent with gang behavior.

“We’re going to try to use every tool in the tool box we can to bring down violence in our city,” Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts said during a press conference announcing the injunction.

Safety Zone map

A map of the “safety zone” in the Fruitvale neighborhood where the injunction would forbid 42 alleged gang members from conducting certain activities. Map courtesy Oakland City Attorney’s office.

City attorney John Russo said the directive is a preventative measure intended to target violence before it happens. “It’s no help to the little girl with the bullet in her skull—it’s no help to her if the gang member is put in jail,” Russo said.

This year Oakland police have linked at least 35 shootings to Norteño activity.

All 42 gang members are named in the injunction filed in Alameda County Superior Court. None of them are minors and all have criminal histories, city officials said. Russo said their names will soon be listed on his office’s website:

The injunction stipulates that the named gang members can be arrested for engaging in certain activities considered typical gang behavior within a designated “safety zone.” That zone is roughly two square miles bordered by 21st Avenue to the northwest, East 27th Street and Brookdale Avenue to the northeast, High Street and two blocks of 48th Avenue to the southeast, and 23rd and Alameda avenues to the southwest.

Many of the terms of the injunction restrict the gang members from committing acts that are already illegal. But the injunction allows police to “pick up someone who violates the injunction without going through the same level of cause,” Russo said.

Under the injunction, the gang members are prohibited from gang association, witness intimidation, carrying firearms, vandalizing property with graffiti, using or selling drugs, trespassing, loitering, gang recruitment, or preventing gang members from leaving the gang. The gang members are also required to adhere to a curfew, likely from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

In June, the city issued an injunction against 15 members of the North Side Oakland gang who were believed to be heavily involved in gang activities—including drug dealing—in North Oakland. Though not enough time has passed to determine statistically whether the injunction has helped reduce gang activity in the area, the feedback from police officers and some North Oakland residents has been positive, said Alex Katz, spokesman for the city attorney’s office.

“We’re hearing from the police and neighbors that for the 15 guys we named in the first injunction, there’s been a cooling off,” Katz said. “They’re not committing crimes in this neighborhood, they haven’t been arrested.”

The one exception among the North Oakland gangsters, Katz said, is Yancie Young, a known drug dealer who appealed the injunction in court and has been arrested since the injunction was filed. But the arrest and charges brought against Young were not related to the injunction, Katz said.

Public response to the latest injunction has mixed. Several Central Oakland residents—both those for and against the measure—attending the press conference declined to give their names, saying they feared for their safety.

The Stop the Injunction Coalition, a community activist group that says injunctions promote police violence and racial profiling against minorities, had a presence at the press conference to show its opposition to the city’s effort. “It continues a cycle of police violence. It continues a pattern of police profiling,” said Isaac Ontiveros, the coalition’s spokesman. “They should put the money and resources into education, healthcare, job—things that bring a community together rather than tear it apart.”

Ontiveros said gang injunctions have “never been effective” as a strategy throughout the state. “In this time of economic hardship, is this the best use of our resources?”

The coalition plans to hold an anti-injunction rally for noon Thursday at the Alameda County administration building.

Connect with Oakland North on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.



  1. […] Fruitvale neighborhood, the second such action this year to fight the city’s gang problem. Make sure to check out the original source Cancel […]

  2. Taco on October 14, 2010 at 10:47 am

    I dont know why they are always putting the injunctions on the Nortenos and never on the Surenos or Border Brothers? Those are the worse of them all because they kill people and just go back to mexico like its nothing.

  3. […] takes lives and scares people away from the neighborhood. Thursday’s hearing came one day after the City Attorney’s office announced it has filed a motion for a second gang injunction in the Fruitvale area targeting 42 alleged members of the Norteño […]

  4. Patrick M. Dorn on February 25, 2011 at 11:04 am

    Those that want to argue that the injuction is not cost effective in these times or any other have to ask themselves when will gang prevention ever be cost effective? It’s not a made for profit business. These are tax payer dollars that sadly have to go to resources such as this. If the world were perfect or if Oakland didn’t have the issues it has then the money could go elsewhere but that’s not the case here.

    You know what’s even funnier is the typical finger pointing at the Police for being the bad guys here…you can’t Generalize all Police as bad anymore than you can generalize any one race as bad….there are always going to be a few bad seeds in any bunch. The only fact here is that Oakland has a gang issue and the liberal touchy feely people think they can always make it go away with a good old Social Program….and the Hard core groups want prisons filled to the brim with anyone that commits a misdemeanor….Well guess what …Social Programs and Prisons cost money to…so why not prevent the crimes from happening in the first place and have the injunction…..

    I’m sorry the gang members feel this will threaten their way of life…but they’ve been affecting everyone elses so turn about is fair play. As for profiling goes my theory is if it’s based on a skin color it’s pretty obvious that someone is a little predjudice but if you go out of your way to look the part and you know what I’m referring to then don’t crying foul because you were mistaken as a thug…If I wore a clown suit and walked around town I wouldn’t complain when someone asked me to make a balloon animal.

  5. DarkCobra on May 7, 2011 at 10:16 am

    I say if the community is stupid enough to want these thug criminals they should have them! However, I have only one condition . . . ALL police services must stop to that community. The rest of us should NOT have to continue to fund coverage to these idiots. Let them call their Norteno pals when they get victimized. However, they’ll probably be calling the same people who victimized them in the first place but who cares!

    Finally, in response to poster (taco) . . . you’re absolutely right. We should be running ALL of them out! Norteno’s, Sureno’s, Border Brother’s, Crips, Bloods, Aryan Brotherhood, you name it!

  6. […] Gang injunction sought for Fruitvale […]

  7. […] The city’s first gang injunction was implemented in North Oakland in June, 2010, and encompasses about 100 blocks of North Oakland between Emeryville, Berkeley and Telegraph Avenue. City leaders say that these restrictions make it more difficult for gang members to commit criminal acts, while making it easier for the police to monitor gang activity. […]

Oakland North welcomes comments from our readers, but we ask users to keep all discussion civil and on-topic. Comments post automatically without review from our staff, but we reserve the right to delete material that is libelous, a personal attack, or spam. We request that commenters consistently use the same login name. Comments from the same user posted under multiple aliases may be deleted. Oakland North assumes no liability for comments posted to the site and no endorsement is implied; commenters are solely responsible for their own content.

Photo by Basil D Soufi
Oakland North

Oakland North is an online news service produced by students at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and covering Oakland, California. Our goals are to improve local coverage, innovate with digital media, and listen to you–about the issues that concern you and the reporting you’d like to see in your community. Please send news tips to:

Latest Posts

Scroll To Top