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SAY WHAT > Should Gang Members Be Banned From Certain Areas?

Christine Lusey 2011/08/18 11:00:00
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Suffolk County, NY, is tired of violence between rival gangs, and they're asking a judge to approve a new strategy: barring gang members from a "safety zone" of two square miles.

Officials say the idea has been implemented successfully in other communities, though the New York State Supreme Court overturned such a ban in New York City in 2000, ruling that gang members had not committed activities dangerous enough that their civil liberties should be infringed upon.

Suffolk plans to use a "gang registry" and, if granted, the measure would bar known members of the Wyandanch Bloods and the Braveheart Bloods from the safety zone. The men would be notified and have the opportunity to prove that they were no longer affiliated with the gang.

“Gangs have the propensity to take over schoolyards, street corners, playgrounds,” says Suffolk County executive Steve Levy. "They do not own those streets. The people of the community own the streets.”

The New York Civil Liberties Union does not expect the judge to approve the measure. “You can’t ban people from public areas,” says Amol Sinha, director of the Suffolk County chapter.

Read More: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/17/nyregion/suffolk...

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  • Wahvlvke 2011/08/18 11:13:08
    Yes
    Wahvlvke
    +13
    Sounds like law enforcement in Suffolk County should get on social media and organize flash shootings of the gang members.

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  • whitewu... Skeptic... 2011/08/18 16:24:19
  • KingdomNow 2011/08/18 13:56:06
    Yes
    KingdomNow
    +2
    How about a bounty for each gang member killed?
  • TheR 2011/08/18 13:31:05
    Yes
    TheR
    The very idea is appealing to ban both the Republicans and Democrat Gang Members. Hucksters, Loser, Murderers, Drug Dealers, Liars, War Mongers, Economy Destroyers, Highly indebted the Nation, Murdered JFK, and killed thousands of people after setting up the inside job of 911. Yeah Ban those bastards.
  • Dhawgg 2011/08/18 13:30:36
    No
    Dhawgg
    +2
    this HAS to be a Dem plan. the idea that gangs - known as such for their concerted lawbreaking- would adhere to another law is beyond retarded. Laws don't work with lawbreakers. idiots.
  • I NEED A HORSE 2011/08/18 13:25:03
  • iamthemob ~ the 444th Guru ~ 2011/08/18 13:20:20
    No
    iamthemob ~ the 444th Guru ~
    +2
    As much as I understand the motivation for this, I believe that it's clearly unconstitutional. Membership in a certain group being a factor in where one can be at any one point, publicly, is one of the perfect examples of a status crime - making it illegal to "be" a certain thing, which the Supreme Court has decidedly frowned on.

    Further, this really ignores a lot of the unfortunate truths behind gang membership - that many people don't really have a choice at least in terms of "joining up" particularly in highly violent areas because anyone who is not affiliated is an open target for violence from ALL people who are affiliated.

    In fact, beyond this, the Supreme Court has already spoken on this issue almost specifically in Chicago, where it was made illegal for someone who "looked like" a gang member to loiter in certain areas. O'Connor pointed out what was probably the clear issue that the Court had - the status of the person loitering - and stated that there is a way to make the activity illegal or an offense of some sort in order to target the problem of violence without dealing with the status.

    "On June 10, in a 6-to-3 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Chicago anti-loitering law that allowed police to arrest persons who look like gang members and loi...









    As much as I understand the motivation for this, I believe that it's clearly unconstitutional. Membership in a certain group being a factor in where one can be at any one point, publicly, is one of the perfect examples of a status crime - making it illegal to "be" a certain thing, which the Supreme Court has decidedly frowned on.

    Further, this really ignores a lot of the unfortunate truths behind gang membership - that many people don't really have a choice at least in terms of "joining up" particularly in highly violent areas because anyone who is not affiliated is an open target for violence from ALL people who are affiliated.

    In fact, beyond this, the Supreme Court has already spoken on this issue almost specifically in Chicago, where it was made illegal for someone who "looked like" a gang member to loiter in certain areas. O'Connor pointed out what was probably the clear issue that the Court had - the status of the person loitering - and stated that there is a way to make the activity illegal or an offense of some sort in order to target the problem of violence without dealing with the status.

    "On June 10, in a 6-to-3 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Chicago anti-loitering law that allowed police to arrest persons who look like gang members and loiter on city streets (Chicago v. Morales, No. 97-1121 (1999)) (David G. Savage, "Supreme Court Rejects Ban on Gang Loitering," Los Angeles Times, June 11, 1999, p. A3; Tony Mauro, "Court kills Chicago anti-gang law," USA Today, June 11, 1999).

    Chicago's 1992 anti-gang ordinance allowed police to arrest persons who "remain in any one place with no apparent purpose" in the presence of a suspected gang member and who then fail to disperse satisfactorily when warned by police. Under the law, the city could arrest and win convictions even if they did not prove criminal behavior, criminal intent, or previous criminal activity by the person accused of loitering. Before lower courts found the law unconstitutional in 1995, Chicago police issued 89,000 dispersal orders under the ordinance and made 42,000 arrests. The majority of people arrested were black or Latino.

    Writing for the majority, Justice John Paul Stevens said, "The freedom to loiter for innocent purposes is part of the liberty" protected by the U.S. Constitution. People in Chicago who stop to "engage in idle conversation or simply enjoy a cool breeze on a warm evening" should not be subject to police commands, said Stevens, joined in full by Justices David H. Souter and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

    In separate opinions, three other justices joined the majority but rejected the idea that loitering is a constitutional right. Justices Sandra Day O'Connor, Anthony Kennedy, and Stephen Breyer rejected the Chicago ordinance because it did not focus on specific criminal conduct. Justice O'Connor suggested that Chicago lawmakers should redraft their anti-gang laws to make it illegal to loiter in order to "establish control over identifiable areas or to intimidate others from entering those areas."

    Justice O'Connor's opinion "gives states and local governments, for the first time, a legal avenue to address the terrible problems that communities face when gangs take over the public ways," said Brian Crowe, corporation counsel for the City of Chicago."

    http://www.ndsn.org/summer99/...
    (more)
  • Chi~Cat iamthem... 2011/08/18 14:50:37
    Chi~Cat
    +4
    With all due respect to your comment, I can assure you that gangs never overtook our neighborhood in Chicago. They were scared as hell of us. We were alert and stealth. Let me tell you, it worked. And five Gangs tried...didn't work. Then again, that was then, this is now. BUT WE DROVE THEM all out. And, that is a fact.
  • iamthem... Chi~Cat 2011/08/18 14:55:13
    iamthemob ~ the 444th Guru ~
    +1
    I'm confused, though, as to how that precisely responds to my comment.

    I think eliminating gang violence is a good thing. My only objection is to the constitutionality of the proposed measure.

    The increased policing of gang areas as well as potential profiling of members such that they are under increased surveillance isn't objectionable, and should be supported. But we have to be careful when we start legislating about "statuses" as opposed to "activity." It's step one to a police state.
  • getu iamthem... 2011/08/19 07:01:28
    getu
    +1
    Exactly right.. One day they will want to tattoo id numbers on our arms...
  • whitewu... Chi~Cat 2011/08/18 16:25:54
  • Waldorf 2011/08/18 13:16:42 (edited)
    Yes
    Waldorf
    +2
    A good example of how being overzealous about defining and protecting civil rights can be a suicide pact...there goes the neighborhood. I see nothing wrong with enforcing ordinances against loitering or hooliganism. I would just arrest anyone displaying a tribal tattoo, because that is territorial and antagonistic. Any other known badges like jackets or hat color, etc. would be equally marked for arrest or dispersement.
  • iamthem... Waldorf 2011/08/18 13:21:26
    iamthemob ~ the 444th Guru ~
    But the problem is not with regulating behavior - it's with regulating people based on who they are or who they're affiliated with.

    There's a way to redraft such that activity is narrowly targeted to get the same effect.
  • Waldorf iamthem... 2011/08/18 14:25:33
    Waldorf
    +1
    Excuse me...the problem is obviously regulating behavior.
  • iamthem... Waldorf 2011/08/18 14:35:42
    iamthemob ~ the 444th Guru ~
    This is not regulating behavior, though - it's creating a status that's criminal. That's not targeted at the behavior.

    There's a first amendment association issue clearly at play here.
  • Waldorf iamthem... 2011/08/18 15:02:28
    Waldorf
    +2
    I am with you now. I think it might be comparable to treating anyone with a gun as a criminal. That is not valid. The gun has to be associated with a crime or lack of legal authorization to carry and conceal.
  • iamthem... Waldorf 2011/08/18 15:10:13
    iamthemob ~ the 444th Guru ~
    +1
    Exactly.

    I think we're very much on the same page then.

    Personally, I actually find the laws against felons carrying guns as well as those involving not allowing them to vote are constitutionally questionable and should be eliminated.

    I think that there should be more of a market focus on the gun issue. If you increase the potential liability to a seller for selling to a felon or convicted violent criminal then they will likely monitor themselves who is buying guns.

    When we take away a constitutional right from someone based on past behavior that they've paid their debt for, we have a potential problem. Not that I'm going to actively ADVOCATE to give guns to felons, mind you. ;-)
  • whitewu... iamthem... 2011/08/18 16:27:50
  • iamthem... whitewu... 2011/08/18 17:17:02 (edited)
    iamthemob ~ the 444th Guru ~
    I didn't mention anything about gun shows. Regardless, you're talking about situations that work under the system as is, rather than a system where law did not make it illegal for felons to possess or purchase guns.

    Further, I wasn't addressing the issue of guns purchased in order to commit a crime, but rather purchased potentially by people with felony record for any purpose.
  • Moose Waldorf 2011/08/18 16:17:06
  • Waldorf Moose 2011/08/18 17:41:56
    Waldorf
    +2
    I come up short when confronted with liberty and constitutional issues, but like you, my instincts are to deal with these things using a heavy hand...law, order, and domestic tranquility regardless. We don't abdicate control to anarchists hiding behind their glorious rights.
  • sdgherrtj 2011/08/18 13:12:48
  • boneman1 2011/08/18 13:00:06
    Yes
    boneman1
    +2
    Gangs should be banned from ALL places. Members of gangs that are known to commit crimes should be arrested and tried as an accomplice to any crime committed by any other member of that gang.
  • Cliff 2011/08/18 12:57:19
    Yes
    Cliff
    It's all about turf. Let the 2 square mile area be American Bloods turf.
  • Laurie M 2011/08/18 12:55:57
    Yes
    Laurie M
    “You can’t ban people from public areas,” says Amol Sinha, director of the Suffolk County chapter." soooo if this is their stance on this then why didn't they squeal when public schools put up signs making drug dealers and people carrying guns away from schools (like that worked really well but...) Why didn't they argue for their right to be there? Im sure the gang members will follow THIS law.
  • IMAOZI 2011/08/18 12:55:47
    Undecided
    IMAOZI
    +1
    Like that would work ppfftttt! We can't get sex offenders or drug dealers to stay away from schools or keep our borders secure. They think putting up a sign that says "safety zone" is gonna stop them?
  • Stone.Cold.Krazy 2011/08/18 12:44:27 (edited)
    Yes
    Stone.Cold.Krazy
    +2
    they should be ban from the planet....but this just a smaller version of US immigration policy and if anyone tries to enforce it..Obama will deem the Terrorist and have them shot
  • Steve 2011/08/18 12:13:57
    Yes
    Steve
    +2
    They should be banned from living, police should be allowed and encouraged to use deadly force on known gang members wherever they may be. Instead of coddling criminal scum let us coddle law abiding citizens and provide them with protection from criminals.
  • vic 2011/08/18 12:05:05
    Yes
    vic
    +1
    Amol Sinha needs to move to that neighborhood. he may just change his mind.
  • Nozzle 2011/08/18 12:02:41
    Yes
    Nozzle
    +2
    gang members should be banned from everywhere and we should put them all in holes and bury them
  • Brandon 2011/08/18 11:35:41
    Undecided
    Brandon
    +6
    So let me get this straight. Enact a law on people who don't follow the law? Don't we already do that?

    What a waste of time. straight enact law people law waste waste of time
  • cmdrbnd007 Brandon 2011/08/18 12:03:04
    cmdrbnd007
    Kind of what I was thinking myself.
  • Red Branch Brandon 2011/08/18 15:07:41
    Red Branch
    +2
    Why do you defend the gangs' right to commit murder and mayhem?

    When they violate the law, throw their asses in jail or the Long Island Sound.
  • Brandon Red Branch 2011/08/18 16:18:30
    Brandon
    How, out of my comment did you get that I defend gangs? Of course when they violate crimes they should be thrown in jail, that's a no brainer. However trying to enforce laws that will have no effect except give the public a false sense of hope is absurd.
  • Red Branch Brandon 2011/08/18 16:23:02
    Red Branch
    You defended gangs by saying the law would not work. If they are gathering where prohibited, they get arrested. It is really a very simple concept.
  • Brandon Red Branch 2011/08/18 16:25:58
    Brandon
    Oh, so now if a group of black people get together they can get arrested. Are you KIDDING!! My point is that the law is null, useless, and will only lead to lawsuits. So if you are for enforcing a law that will cost the state more money and give no more safety than any other law provided then sure go for it.
  • Red Branch Brandon 2011/08/18 19:26:35
    Red Branch
    +1
    Look Lib,
    Why are you making this a race issue. As far as I know every race has gangs.

    Now for another shocker. Schools are private property. Schools are paid for with pubic tax dollars for the purpose of educating the neighborhood youth. No one except students, employees, and parents have the right to go on that property without permission. Schools were not set up to serve as a meeting place for gangs.

    I can see that any effort to restrict gang behavior violates a criminal's Constitutional right to be a criminal.
  • Brandon Red Branch 2011/08/18 19:35:03
    Brandon
    First not a Lib, but thanks for trying to demean me by using the term, makes me giggle. Secondly, I am not making this about race, it's called sarcasm, trying to reference an analogy you can understand, no need to take it out of context. Third it does not prohibit criminals from doing anything, the reference that I was using to be politically correct for you, is that if they "suspect" a Mexican, Chinese, Black, white, yellow thug or gang member and arrest people at random for "suspicion" that will lead to lawsuits. Simple points could not explain them anymore clearly.
  • Account Closed 2011/08/18 11:32:33
    Yes
    Account Closed
    +6
    Yes they should be banned from certain area's and that area is call Earth.
  • tomas 2011/08/18 11:28:36
    Undecided
    tomas
    +8
    To help stimulate job growth, there should be a bounty on gang members heads. Eliminate crime, flash mobs, promote job growth and help the struggling mortuary industry. A win/win scenario.
  • clasact 2011/08/18 11:19:51
    Yes
    clasact
    +2
    I dont see how they are going to enforce this but they should just ban them from the city

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