Good riddance to injunction

It’s a good day for Sacramento when the U.S. Constitution gets upheld in its locale. So, yes, we were extremely pleased last week to learn that a panel of judges for California’s Third District Court of Appeal had unanimously rejected West Sacramento’s infamous “gang injunction.”

It was the spring of 2005 when Yolo County police and prosecutors, led by Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig, threw an open-ended gang-suppression net over a 3-square-mile swath of West Sac. It was clear immediately that the court order that imposed the injunction was overreaching and utterly too random in its application.

We understand that crime and gang activity exists in West Sac. The same can be said, unfortunately, of any urban area. But the injunction unfairly targeted a group of individuals, some just for having a tattoo or wearing the color red, without even giving them a chance to challenge their designation as gang members. Some longtime West Sac residents were stunned to suddenly find themselves on an alleged “gang list” that prohibited them from going out at night just because they’d had a tattoo inked in their teens.

As Reisig should know, there are other ways to go after gangsters.

When the injunction was first imposed, SN&R wrote plenty about it in its news and opinion pages. It’s nice, almost two years later, to see that, though it took a bit of time, the system worked, justice prevailed and an unconstitutional judicial order was voided.