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<b>AGAINST THE TIDE:</b>  After more than three hours of public comment — all but one speaker opposed the gang injunction—Councilmember Dale Francisco (center) gave a lengthy rebuttal in support of the filing.

Paul Wellman

AGAINST THE TIDE: After more than three hours of public comment — all but one speaker opposed the gang injunction—Councilmember Dale Francisco (center) gave a lengthy rebuttal in support of the filing.


Gang Wars Hit City Hall

Injunction Heads to Trial After Heated Debate


Thursday, April 24, 2014
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If implementing the gang injunction doesn’t create a “war zone” in the city, holding an open forum for three hours on the matter at City Hall just about did. Though the proposed injunction has been in the forefront of Santa Barbara politics for much of the last three years, Tuesday’s City Council meeting marked the second time councilmembers held a public forum on the matter and the first time they voted on it in open session, with support running 5-2.

Though the vote was largely symbolic ​— ​only Councilmembers Cathy Murillo and Gregg Hart, who called for the forum, opposed the injunction ​— ​the hearing allowed for one last “robust” debate before the case goes before Judge Colleen Sterne on May 5. Dozens of speakers took to the podium ​— ​several gave their allotted two minutes to another speaker ​— ​to reiterate many of the arguments against an injunction. “It’s the definition of insanity,” said one speaker. Among the opposing arguments were that it encourages racial profiling, wastes taxpayer dollars, violates civil rights, decreases property values, shifts crime out of “safety zones” into adjacent ones, wrongly assumes the defendants will violate the law in the future, and undercuts traditional police tactics.

If implemented by Sterne ​— ​the trial is expected to take several weeks ​— ​the injunction would prohibit the defendants and any future members of named gangs from associating in the “safety zones” that make up the Eastside, Westside, and beach or waterfront area (about a third of the city, one speaker noted). Any active gang members would be bound by the terms of the injunction, but adding a member to the injunction could only happen through the courts.

City Attorney Ariel Calonne
Click to enlarge photo

Paul Wellman

City Attorney Ariel Calonne

The issue of cost set the tone for the fairly tense hearing. City Attorney Ariel Calonne reported that the city had spent $160,000 total in staff costs and expert witnesses in the past three years. But the price tag for the police department is unavailable, said Police Chief Cam Sanchez, explaining he does not track how much time his staff spends investigating line items like gangs or sexual assaults. This response ​— ​coupled with the same answer from the District Attorney’s Office ​— ​prompted skepticism from Councilmember Murillo. “If we build a bridge, we know exactly how much it costs,” she said. In response, Sanchez explained the department has not expended any more money than within its $5 million budget for its investigations bureau. “If we weren’t working on the gang injunction,” he said. “We’d be working on something else.” In 2012, the police department announced it had spent close to half a million dollars on the injunction, Murillo noted, and $700,000 was used as a ballpark figure for total cost. The cost of a “vigorously fought” appeal would range from $25,000-$50,000, Calonne said. Mayor Helene Schneider later said ongoing funds spent on prevention efforts likely “dwarf” the onetime money spent on the gang injunction.

Though 27 people are officially named on the injunction (three names were eliminated, Calonne explained), several are incarcerated. And “without getting into things we shouldn’t talk about,” said Hart, approximately a dozen would now be affected by the injunction. Violating the order would be a misdemeanor that could land a defendant in jail for a maximum of six months, said Assistant District Attorney Hilary Dozer in an email.

“I am always walking,” one woman touted. “I am not afraid of gangs.”

Quite a few speakers complained that the public debate “should have happened two years ago.” Schneider countered that argument more than once, stating a five-hour public hearing was held last May. “Most of you were there,” she added. And many ​— ​only the first speaker was in favor of the injunction ​— ​described themselves as long-term residents of both the Eastside and the Westside and argued they never feel the presence of gang violence in their neighborhoods. “I am always walking,” one woman touted. “I am not afraid of gangs.”

“You don’t think we have a gang problem?” countered Councilmember Frank Hotchkiss. “Well, there are 16 people who might disagree with you,” he said, referring to the 16 killed by gang violence since the 1990s.

Police Chief Cam Sanchez
Click to enlarge photo

Paul Wellman

Police Chief Cam Sanchez

On more than one occasion, Sanchez has announced that although the number of gang-related crimes has decreased in the past several years, more serious crimes including assaults and homicides have been on the upswing. He reiterated that fact last Wednesday at the quarterly meeting of the South Coast Youth Gang Task Force. The number of juveniles on probation with gang terms has dropped from 306 in 2009 to a daily average of 53 so far in 2014. But the number of female juveniles on probation with gang terms has flatlined, said the task force’s coordinator, Saul Serrano, explaining girls face different challenges and have different needs.

Dale Francisco, who said he would speak for those “not represented” at the hearing, contended plenty of studies show that gang injunctions do reduce crime. Even a 10-15 percent reduction would be worth it, he said.

Wrapping up much of the voiced concerns, one final speaker told city councilmembers, “You dug your feet in the sand. This is going to be your legacy, and it’s embarrassing.”

Comments

Independent Discussion Guidelines

Did I hear right? Mere moments before the trial starts Joyce Dudley and the City Attorney have decided there aren't 30 or 27 bad people that need to be restricted any more?
The number is now 12? What? And that number is a secret? What? Is it maybe 10? 5?
How many of those remaining bad people are already in jail? on probation or parole?
If this tool is so necessary why can't they find anyone to apply it to?
Meanwhile the map hasn't gotten any smaller. On May 5th the DA will ask Judge Sterne to permanently declare my neighborhood a "nuisance area". That won't affect the 12 gang members, it will adversely affect thousands of homeowners.
Dale Francisco you have failed us as a voice for fiscal responsibility and as an opponent of overreaching and irresponsible government taking.
Fiasco.

Review (anonymous profile)
April 24, 2014 at 1:35 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Francisco's " voice for fiscal responsibility" is limited to Francisco's repeated statements claiming fiscal responsibility. He's a black hole equivalent to SBPD in terms of financial decisions.

14noscams (anonymous profile)
April 24, 2014 at 6:40 a.m. (Suggest removal)

This may have been through a "hearing" a year ago at city council, but that show was deliberately orchestrated then not to allow a vote by the council members, because two of them were later up for reelection last November.

And who is up for reelection in November 2015 for city council or county supervisor in 2016, or U.S. Congress in June 2014?

So if we are following along here with this charade, this list of gang injunction targets is now 10 or 12 people remaining as the list, and the penalty for violating the injunction restraining order is a maximum of six months in a woefully overcrowded county jail, where inmates routinely are let out early for the crimes of hanging out in a park or riding a bus.

John_Adams (anonymous profile)
April 24, 2014 at 7 a.m. (Suggest removal)

good job city council. murillo and hart wanted the meeting, wanted the vote in public and got it.

next.

lawdy (anonymous profile)
April 24, 2014 at 7:58 a.m. (Suggest removal)

More people killed by gangs in the US in two years than US soldiers the entire Vietnam War.

Gangs are a cancer on our nation with no socially redeeming characteristics. None. They are solely violent criminal activities that put us all at risk. Gangs need to be eliminated using every means necessary. With gang murder levels this high, martial law is appropriate and necessary.

Gangs could have made better choices and exercised self-discipline. But they did not. Therefore, they need to be eliminated from the fabric of our society. Good work City Council.

Glad to see you stared down the gangs gathered to intimidate you to avoid doing the right thing. Thank you for speaking up for those too intimidated by gangs, who wisely chose to not become these gang's next targets publicly speaking out against them. We know all about about gang runners who carry messages back to the gang leaders.

Message is clear: gangs do not belong in Santa Barbara. Or anywhere. To support gangs is to support pandemic disease: Quarantine, isolate and inoculate is the only choice to stop this scourge in our society. And you keep hitting it until this disease is fully eradicated.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
April 24, 2014 at 8:38 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The city council pre-election charade you refer to regarding the orchestrated but meaningless "gang vote" was concocted by Helene Schneider and Bendy White, who both went on to strong re-election victories playing off this calculated PR fraud.

It allowed both to appear "tough on crime" while doing nothing substantive about the actual local gang problems at all. What they call a twofer.

Much like Obama and the Keystone pipeline. dithering to keep both sides of his political base, off base: the environmentalists and the unions who both own this man but currently are on opposite ends of the spectrum about the jobs and energy needs of this country.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
April 24, 2014 at 9:56 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Per Ask.com

"The number of gang related deaths per year fluctuates from year to year. In larger cities, it is estimated that between 1,000 to 1,300 gang related deaths occur per year. In the whole United States, it is estimated that an average of 10,000 people die per year due to gang related death."

Gangs are like a cancer. Eliminate the cancer and hopefully we can minimize the number of deaths and havoc caused by the gang/cancer.

whatsinsb (anonymous profile)
April 24, 2014 at 10:02 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Dale Francisco insinuated quite clearly that he does not represent the extreme majority of the people in the room that day.

ahem (anonymous profile)
April 24, 2014 at 10:07 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Dale Francisco is a clear, articulate, concise speaker who refreshingly gets directly to the point. so you don't have to second guess him. Doubt if he "insinuated" anything.

Could you explain what you "insinuated" here about Francisco, ahem? Thnx.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
April 24, 2014 at 10:21 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Murillo...seriously.. how out of touch can you be? You called your meeting and got your bluff called. Did she seriously think she could pull in a bunch of associates of the people on the dream team 27 and intimidate the rest of the city council? RIDICULOUS and talk about a waste of money. How much did that hearing/debate cost?

It is absolutely true that with the bullying/intimidating tactics of gangs, most of the law abiding public does not want to stand up on a podium in front of all these associates, perhaps have their name flashed in the local press (where by you can get all sorts of other info via internet..) to speak what most feel about the injunction. I have met the gentleman that did and I totally commend him for his courage to do so.

This whole money thing, real estate price, civil right thing is a joke. Our civil servants are supposed to be here to protect (and serve) those that abide by the law. Not give out second, third, fourth chances to these hoodlums. Nor cater to any special group that only cares about THEIR money and damned the rest of the town.

I think putting it up for vote would really show the stripes on this zebra. Forget the trial, just put it up for vote. I predict it would pass with flying colors and there will be an appeal on the trial anyway. I would hope this would be a living document that could carry the capacity of up to 50 of the biggest thugs around...You can get on or off the list depending on your upstanding behavior.

bimboteskie (anonymous profile)
April 24, 2014 at 10:50 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Did anyone think of Linda Morales when the Chief was discussing lack of accountability regarding funds directed towards this piece of propaganda!
Maybe this is why so much embezzling happens in this city. They all know SBPD doesn't have a clue!

By the way foo.... thanks for endorsing Dale. Now i know I'm doing the right thing by voting for someone else!

touristunfriendly (anonymous profile)
April 24, 2014 at 11:03 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Lots of good people to choose from on the ticket - top two go on to the finals, unless Dale wins 50% + 1. Which he might this time.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
April 24, 2014 at 11:45 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Listen up gang bangers and gang banger sympathizers:

1. You are destroying downtown retail which is critical to support city activities and city employee union demands.

2. The cost of one gang-banger after the fact to go through our criminal justice system is easily $500,000 in tax dollars, per punk.

Choose how you want this money spent - once to initiate a gang injunction or over and over again on endless new gang bangers who cannot control their own lives.

City employee unions now understand you can't have a healthy, revenue producing city when gang-bangers are left to run amok. Clean-up fever is finally taking hold after decades of simmering neglect and massively growing city budget deficits. You go for the low-hanging fruit first - eliminating stupid gang crime.

There are no root causes for gang membership that have to be solved first, because the root cause of gang-banging is gang membership itself.

No one needs to look any further , because this town is already rich with healthy and supportive alternate choices that even hormone-addled, dope-smokiong adolescents can make.

They made choices to join gangs, smoke dope, do drugs, knock up their "ladies" and commit crimes on behalf of the gang. They can make choice now to stay away from gangs, and everything even remotely associated with them. Gangs are losers.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
April 24, 2014 at 12:33 p.m. (Suggest removal)

i think foo's been smoking crock too!
i wonder

touristunfriendly (anonymous profile)
April 24, 2014 at 12:41 p.m. (Suggest removal)

It's sad to see such ignorance from adults that have yet to get to know any of these kids/adults that are gang affiliated or were in the past. I have family and friends that are both active and non active. Our youth need love not to be sized up as if they're these horrible kids. Don't you remember being a kid and making poor decisions or mistakes? I know I've made plenty and I'm not a gang member. Instead of judging our youth get to know them because we ALL have a story. I was there yesterday at this City Hall meeting and I was so offended by how disrespectful some of the council members were towards me as I expressed my concern as a mother in regards to this proposed Gang Injunction. The last City Hall meeting I attended Dale Francisco was reading a book and Frank Hotchkess was on his cell phone texting or playing a game while so many concerned people of SB were talking. It was the rudest and most disrespectful thing a council member could do. I do not condone criminal behavior but I do condone finding better solutions to keeping our youth out of gangs and getting them into college. NO TO THE SANTA BARBARA GANG INJUNCTION AND YES TO EDUCATION NOT INCARCERATION.

Culinarynicole30 (anonymous profile)
April 24, 2014 at 1:30 p.m. (Suggest removal)

While I certainly feel for the victims of violence and their families, how is 16 deaths over 20 years a gang epidemic? Francisco hopes for a 10-15% reduction in crime, which means that maybe in theory this number goes down to 14 deaths over the next 20 years.

So we are going to ruin Santa Barbara's reputation, waste millions of dollars, and trample the rights of it's citizens to potentially prevent one murder per decade? How many DUI deaths do we have every decade? Already 5 this year IIRC? I don't see anyone proposing a injunction to ban cars within 2,000 ft of "bar zones".

emkman (anonymous profile)
April 24, 2014 at 1:54 p.m. (Suggest removal)

You know how they say dog owners look like their dogs....

garfish (anonymous profile)
April 24, 2014 at 2:28 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Join a gang. Bad decision. Mistake made. Get out of gang. And if you don't get out of the gang, there will be consequences. Now aren't you glad we had this little chat? Done with talking about it.

We can get to know all the gang-bangers we want to just sitting in court and watching the whole scenario play out from the smirking accused, the witnesses who rat on their bros, and the loyal gang supporters taking down names while sitting in the gallery.

One gang murder is one too many for this community. We are now up to 1-2 gang stabbing a month .That is an out of control epidemic in this town.

Gang warfare conducted on our streets right now ruins our reputation, which is already unsavory from far too much coddling of vagrants; and now gang bangers too?

foofighter (anonymous profile)
April 24, 2014 at 2:28 p.m. (Suggest removal)

BTW: if you join a gang and later try to get out of that gang is when they inflict the worst consequences on you. Negative peer pressure among gang members is deadly, which is why these criminal enterprise gangs in any way shape or form in this town warrant zero tolerance.

Gangs are not social clubs, or fraternities, or substitute fathers. They are cold, bloody, brutal criminal enterprises who rely on violence and intimidation as their price of admission and the price of forced retention.

If young men in this town are looking for social clubs, fraternal gatherings or substitute fathers look no further than the multitude of healthy alternatives this town has long and generously supplied.

Gang members don't want healthy alternatives. They want fear, violence, intimidation and corruption as their rebellious badges of manhood. Not going to get that fed at the Boys and Girls Clubs.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
April 24, 2014 at 2:36 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Culinarynicole: "Our youth need love not to be sized up as if they're these horrible kids."

Oh, a wine tasting Prius driver chimes in. Let em' run wild is the message I get from this post of her's. They're not committing crimes, they're "acting out" as the new age clique likes to say. THEY'RE CRIMINALS AND SHOULD BE DEALT WITH ACCORDINGLY! Now get back to the tasting room.

So nice to see Cathy brought in her homies to try and intimidate the law abiding, hard working, tax paying REAL people of Santa Barbara.
Nice try muchacha, bu NO CIGAR! Fell short of the mark and made who your alliances are even more apparent than before.
Your homies may be able to intimidate people on the street, but when it came to the City Council halls, fell flat on their faces.
Seems to be the tactic used by these terrorists: Annoy, intimidate, threaten, coerce, you know, what the gang life teaches.
So Cathy Murillo, we've got our eyes on you and your associates. We know who they are and when the gang injunction passes, which it will, we will know your associates even better because they will be listed in said injunction.
By the way, just LOVE the look on your face in the featured picture, it is the truest definition of EPIC FAIL ever!

blahblahmoreblah (anonymous profile)
April 24, 2014 at 3:12 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Foofighter, you are right, I reread the report and thought about what I heard yesterday, and he did not insinuate. He declared that he represented people that were not present (his owners?) and the crowd that was there was of no consequence to him.

ahem (anonymous profile)
April 24, 2014 at 5:56 p.m. (Suggest removal)

If I were a betting man I would bet Gregg Hart was trying to play both ends against the middle on this one. I smell this boy is running for something else and trying to keep all bases clean for his next move. The growing power of the hispanic vote is formidable.

My advice is to not let a few out of control gang-bangers become an ethnic identity issue. The hispanic community stands for far more positive values than what these few gang members represent. Shunning and isolating them makes far more sense than embracing them as ethic pride poster boys. They represent no positive values, in any way anyone can spin their activities.

The first person to benefit from the gang injunction is the gang member himself. Don't stop progress.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
April 24, 2014 at 6:46 p.m. (Suggest removal)

ahem, I bet Francisco did not say all that either. Sort out what he said and then what words you later put into his mouth. Thnx.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
April 24, 2014 at 9:10 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Bless their hearts for the five council members who were dug in so deep they could not end a bad policy that wastes huge amounts of money and time to entirely duplicate existing laws and to influence, in the end, about 12 people with an awesome deterrent of a six month jail sentence.

Bendy White was almost begging the Court of Law to kill the whole thing, during his rambling remarks then.

Dale Francisco was campaigning against Chris Mitchum during his remarks, with High Theatre propping up a straw man argument against the Democratic Party and the Channelkeepers.

John_Adams (anonymous profile)
April 25, 2014 at 10:52 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Say what you want Johnny, the pro gang/pro crime lobby took a hit, all that matters at this point in time. Expect more awesome milestones on the gang injunction from here on out.

blahblahmoreblah (anonymous profile)
April 25, 2014 at 11:01 a.m. (Suggest removal)

agree JA and I can imagine Bendy semi-begging Judge Sterne to end this farce judicially since this Council hasn't got the b*lls to kill it off themselves. As e.g. of pro-injunction fanatics, note how foo has 9 of first 25 comments and well over 50% of the verbiage thus far. And Dale will have to lurch even more extremely RIGHT to match tea-bagger Mitchum, hence his histrionics. Sad. As always, where is the mayor? eh?

DrDan (anonymous profile)
April 25, 2014 at 12:25 p.m. (Suggest removal)

So I got a question for you guys: How come when an individual is anti-gang/anti-crime, they suddenly get labeled a "teabagger"?

blahblahmoreblah (anonymous profile)
April 25, 2014 at 4:08 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Be proud Santa Barbara.
The city so far has spent $700 thousand to go to trail in a couple of weeks for a mere 11 defendants.

That is $63 thousand per defendant.

John_Adams (anonymous profile)
April 25, 2014 at 5:32 p.m. (Suggest removal)

How come when someone is anti gang injunction they are labeled "gang lovers " or "gang associates" or "pro crime? ". Blah blah more blah more scat in the comment section.

Herschel_Greenspan (anonymous profile)
April 25, 2014 at 5:48 p.m. (Suggest removal)

specifically, blahblah, Mitchum is distinctively in the Tea Party movement, and just read his comments recently, he's proud of it.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
April 25, 2014 at 6:20 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Be proud Santa Barbara.
The city so far has spent $700 thousand to go to trail in a couple of weeks for a mere 11 defendants.

That is $63 thousand per defendant.

John_Adams (anonymous profile)
April 25, 2014 at 5:32 p.m.

We will take the rap for all these crimes. Just convict all 14 of us in one fell swoop and save a fortune on court costs. After all, isn't the gang mentality about sticking together?

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
April 25, 2014 at 6:39 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Since the Tea Party stands for small government and balanced budgets, I'd be a proud sympathizer too.

The rest of the hype about the Tea Party never sounded in fact, and was concocted only by the Liberals who needed a back-up straw dog if gratuitous bashing the Koch Bros didn't provide the necessary traction to overcome their own dearth of ideas, solutions and principles.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
April 25, 2014 at 7:13 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Hershey Highway: "How come when someone is anti gang injunction they are labeled "gang lovers " or "gang associates" or "pro crime? ". Blah blah more blah more scat in the comment section."

Because that's what they are sillypants. There, held your hand, once again, problem solved, fixed that for you.

blahblahmoreblah (anonymous profile)
April 28, 2014 at 1:21 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Teabaggers suck balls.

Byrd (anonymous profile)
May 2, 2014 at 11:17 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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