This is the first in a two-part series about the gang injunctions in Oxnard. Click here to view part two. Individuals identified as members of the Colonia Chiques and Southside Chiques not only must abide by all laws, but under gang injunctions approved by the courts a decade ago, their activities were severely curtailed, including how they could behave within designated areas known as safety zones and who they could associate with, particularly fellow gang members. The original injunction — and subsequent updates — added as violations the possession of aerosol paint cans, intimidation of witnesses and use of gang gestures.

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The city obtained its first civil gang injunction against the Colonia Chiques gang in June of and got a second gang injunction against the Southside Chiques gang in October of A gang injunction declares its members a public nuisance and can address the problem before it reaches a felony level.

The city received its second gang injunction in against the second largest gang in Oxnard, the Southside Chiques, he said, and during that trial, the department proved there were at least 1, similar crimes that went along with the first gang injunction. Whitney said his officers have been judicious in how they apply for the gang injunction, and they recognize that it has limits on civil liberties, although many people push the department to be more aggressive.

Assistant Chief Eric Sonstegard said after the July meeting when the council received the last update; they directed the department to go out to the community and get more feedback about how the city felt about the gang injunctions.

The three key areas that came up during the feedback process, he said, were how does someone get put on a gang injunction, does an individual get due process in the courts before being placed on the gang injunction and how does the person get off the injunction, or are they on there forever?

The department held 14 community meetings and conducted a non-scientific survey, as 95 percent of the people surveyed supported gang injunctions. The department has a three-level approval process before serving someone with a gang injunction, he said, as a detective, sergeant and commander must sign off on the action. Some of the comments the department has received were that youngsters are being served and are wayward youth.

Sonstegard cited two examples, including a year-old Chiques Gang Member with a year history of violence in the city. Sonstegard said another example is a year-old member of the Chiques gang who started on that path in when he was found to be in possession of a firearm. Thirdly, Sonstegard showed a year-old Chiques Gang Member and one of his first contacts with the police was when he was firing a gun at rival gang members. Police arrested him with a loaded handgun.

Moving forward, no individual will be subject to the gang injunction without a judicial hearing. To get off a gang injunction, he said they can file a court motion. The District Attorney's office will seek an amended injunction against the Colonia and Southside Chiques Street gangs, Sonstegard said, and the current injunctions are still valid. There is going to be about individuals who are going to get a fresh start. If the gang member continues to act with gang activities, he said that person would be served with a new order.

During public comments, Armando Vasquez said he respects the police but disagrees with them about gang injunctions, and the only reason why they are at the meeting is the unconstitutional nature of the gang injunctions. It is played on the backs of Latinos and nobody else.

The first time the city serves a new enjoined young man, he said the city would end up in court. Marissa Martinez opened her comments by showing everyone a picture of her son, year-old Vincent Martinez who was murdered in front of her house and she thinks the gang injunction needs to continue. I am a true Chicana; my parents came from Mexico. Councilman Bert Perello offered his condolences to Martinez about losing her son and supports keeping bad people off the streets.

I give them credit. Councilman Bryan MacDonald recognizes the gang injunction issue is passionate with a lot of people and spoke to someone who referred to himself as a former gang member. There is a way to make a choice. Mayor Pro Tem Carmen Ramirez extended her condolences to Martinez and noted it is difficult to speak so vividly on the tragedy. Councilwoman Gabriela Basua said the injunction is not an easy subject when Mrs. Martinez shares her experience. We need to work together, and we need you the organizations to be our eyes out there.

Mayor Tim Flynn said the council asked the police to get community input and they did precisely that. No other force is more harmful to families, children, neighbors, and children than gang members and the acts they are committing in this city. Already a user and need to resubscribe? Sign in and click on your settings. Name Change. Gang members are offered a fresh start. Oxnard Police Chief Scott Whitney gave the council the latest update about the gang injunctions. By Chris Frost chris tricountysentry.

Some of the comments the department has received were that youngsters are being served and are wayward youth Sonstegard cited two examples, including a year-old Chiques Gang Member with a year history of violence in the city.

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Gang Injunctions

The neighborhood was laid out by the Colonia Land Improvement Company in close proximity of the sugar factory and beet fields to house workers just east of the city's downtown business district. The north to south boundaries are Camino del Sol to 3rd Street and the west to east boundaries are Oxnard Boulevard formerly state route 1 to Rose Avenue. While much of the northern boundaries are kept relatively pristine to border the recent newer housing developments, the western borders match the grit of the railroad tracks. The neighborhood contains one private and two public elementary schools.



A gang injunction is a court order that deems a gang a public nuisance and spells out behavior limits for people served with those injunctions. In , the City of Oxnard experienced high levels of violent gang assaults and gang-related homicides, and in response to those figures, the police obtained its first civil gang injunction against the Colonia Chiques street gang in The police obtained a second gang injunction against the Southside Chiques street gang in Oct. In , the courts ruled the curfew prohibition unconstitutional which meant they had to re-write the two gang injunctions. As a police department, he said the Oxnard Police Department is always willing to embrace those discussions, and that led to the community discussion at the Community Relations Commission. When the Oxnard Police Department suspended enforcement of the injunctions in late , there were enjoined gang members, including from the Colonia Chiques and 71 from the Southside Chiques. The median age of the injunctees was 28 for members of the Colonia Chiques and 30 for the Southside Chiques.

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