The Oakland City Council burned the midnight oil late last night and into Wednesday morning as they passed a measure that will continue to fund gang injunctions as a crime-fighting tool. By a 4-3 vote, the city council voted for the measure, which has cost the city about $1 million to date in court costs and police overtime.

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After the defense spent three days questioning Oakland police officer Douglass Keely, who was involved in creating the list of the 40 alleged Norteño gang members named in the Fruitvale gang injunction, prosecutors finally got a chance to cross examine him on Tuesday. The crux of their examination involved showing the judge dozens of photos of the alleged gang members’ tattoos and gang clothing, as well as graffiti in the Fruitvale neighborhood, that were meant to demonstrate that the defendants had been correctly identified as active gang members.

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As the hearing over the proposed Fruitvale gang injunction grinds on, tension is rising between the two sides over how long the process is taking. On the prosecution’s side, the Oakland City Attorney’s Office wants the court to approve the proposed injunction as quickly as possible while the defense, which represents 27 of the 40 alleged gang members named in the injunction, wants to prevent its enforcement.

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Alameda County Superior Court Judge Robert Freedman heard testimony from three more witnesses on Wednesday about the proposed Fruitvale gang injunction. There’s still no end in sight as to when the hearing will conclude and the judge will decide whether to impose the injunction against 40 alleged Norteño gang members in the Fruitvale neighborhood.

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Last October, Oakland City Attorney John Russo proposed a gang injunction against 40 alleged members of the Nortenos gang in the Fruitvale neighborhood. This is Oakland’s second proposed gang injunction. It’s a controversial legal theory that says gang activity is a public nuisance that prevents non-gang members from enjoying peace in their communities.

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Abel Manzo, one of the alleged gang members named in the Fruitvale gang injunction, was the only person to testify in the hearing on Wednesday. His lawyer, Jose Luis Fuentes, used his line of questioning to paint a picture of Manzo as a person who had some minor run-ins with the police but was never involved in gangs.

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Michael Siegel

An Alameda County judge decided Friday to put off a decision about whether attorneys from Oakland law firm Siegel and Yee can represent a man who was named on a pending gang injunction. Lawyers from the Oakland City Attorney’s Office had brought up concerns regarding a conflict of interest within the law firm, where City Councilmember Jane Brunner practices, arguing that Brunner’s role in the firm could expose Siegel and Yee lawyers to the city’s confidential information.

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