Since the early 1980s, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), in collaboration with other City entities and members from the North Hills community, has worked in partnership to address the havoc and criminal activity brought to this community by the Langdon Street (LST) gang. In 1997, an operational team, known as the North Hills Task Force (NHTF), which was comprised of law enforcement officers from LAPD’s Operations-Valley Bureau, was formed to combat the criminal behavior of the LST gang. Over a three-year period, NHTF made countless crime and narcotic related arrests in North Hills involving LST gang members. In addition to NHTF, a Community Impact Team (CIT) was also formed in North Hills to focus on quality of life issues. The CIT consists of City entities such as Department of Building and Safety, Department of Transportation, the City and District Attorney’s Office, and members from the residential and business communities. Although these two programs, in addition to traditional law enforcement activities, have had a positive impact in the North Hills area, there was still a desperate need to address the criminal acts and fear that the LST gang brought to this community. For these reasons, the LST gang left law enforcement no other options but to file a public nuisance abatement suit or injunction.
An injunction is a civil process, not a criminal process prohibiting certain types of activity. This behavior is frequently associated with criminal activity. The LAPD elected to seek this remedy because traditional law enforcement efforts were not totally successful.
On May 20, 1999, the Superior Court officially granted an injunction against the LST gang. The court held thirty-one LST named gang members, plus the "200 DOES" (not specifically named) who were listed on the injunction, accountable for their criminal gang behavior in North Hills. Although the courts ruled in favor of the LST injunction, a final hearing has been scheduled for September 20, 1999, to ensure that all the LST gang members have been served with the court summons.
The injunction is enforceable in the community of North Hills, which is encompassed by Roscoe Boulevard to the south, Nordhoff Street to the north, Sepulveda Boulevard to the east and the San Diego Freeway to the west. Also included was James Monroe High School, which is frequented by LST gang members.
The ultimate objective of the LST injunction is to permanently dispose of the LST gang in the targeted area, reduce crime and the fear of crime and return the community of North Hills to its residents.
By enforcing and focusing on the LST injunction violations, listed in alphanumeric order below, the objective of the injunction will be met and the quality of life in North Hills will improve.
The Superior Court ruled that LST gang members shall refrain from the following criminal activity:
a. Standing, sitting, walking, driving, gathering, or appearing anywhere in public view with any other named Defendant(s) herein and/or with any other known Langdon Street gang member(s), but not to include: 1) when all individuals are within a dwelling unit as defined in LAMC § 12.03.
b. Selling, attempting to sell, possessing, or using, without a prescription, or knowingly remaining in the presence of anyone selling, attempting to sell, obtaining, attempting to obtain, possessing, or using, without a prescription, any controlled substance or related paraphernalia, including but not limited to, rolling papers and pipes used for illegal drug use;
c. Blocking the free passage any person or vehicle on any street, walkway, sidewalk, driveway, alleyway, or other area of public use.
d. Approaching or signaling as a pedestrian any vehicle unless a legitimate emergency situation requires or vehicle is legally parked with the motor off.
e. Being present on the private property of others, except: (1) with the prior written consent of the person in lawful possession of the property;
f. Being in a public place between 9:00 p.m.on any day and sunrise of the immediately following day, unless (1) going to/from a legitimate meeting or entertainment activity, or (2) involved in a legitimate emergency situation that requires immediate attention;
g. Acting as a lookout, whistling, yelling or otherwise signaling with a flashlight, "walkie-talkie," or other means to warn another person of an approaching law enforcement officer, soliciting, encouraging or employing another to do so;
h. Drinking any alcoholic beverage in any public place or any place open to public view, or knowingly being within 10 feet of an open container of alcohol in a public place or a place open to public view;
i. Possessing any firearm, ammunition, or illegal weapon as defined in Penal Code § 12020 in any public place or place open to public view, or knowingly remaining in the presence of anyone who is in possession of such firearm, ammunition or dangerous weapon;
j. Possessing or using a toy or replica firearm, or a BB gun, or knowingly remaining in the presence of anyone who is in possession of such an item.