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San Gabriel Valley : Pasadena Defends Restraining Order

To the outrage of many in Pasadena’s African American community, city officials and prosecutors on Thursday rejected a demand that the city drop a restraining order that prohibits reputed gang members in a troubled neighborhood from carrying beepers, riding bicycles and other usually legal activities.

Calling the restraining order a license to harass African Americans, the president of the Pasadena Branch of National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People said he expects his organization to sue the city and district attorney.

“Their actions are an insult to every member of the African American community,” said NAACP leader Charles Bereal, who called the order unconstitutional.

Last week, at the request of Dist Atty. Gil Garcetti and the city, a Superior Court judge granted a temporary restraining order against 35 alleged members of the Pasadena Denver Street Lanes gang who are believed to control an area of Northwest Pasadena between Washington and Orange Grove boulevards and Fair Oaks and Marengo avenues.

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Within the area, those named in the complaint are barred not only from illegal activities but also from possession of such things as cellular phones, and none of them can be on the street after midnight.

But Pasadena Mayor William Paparian and Deputy Dist. Atty. Deane Castorena, in a later press conference, said each of the 35 under the restraining order could contest it in court Nov. 9. “There is no conspiracy to harass anybody or infringe on anybody’s rights,” Castorena said.

Castorena and police said that what had been the meanest streets in Pasadena have become calm since the order. And Paparian said the city will seek injunctions against other gangs.


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