City Targets Gang in Nickerson Gardens
City officials asked for a new gang injunction Thursday aimed at restricting the movements of a Blood street gang called the Bounty Hunters in Southeast Los Angeles.
“For 30 years, the Bounty Hunters have plagued this neighborhood with assaults, gunfire and robberies,” City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo said at a news conference Thursday. “They display a blatant disregard for innocent residents.”
Sixteen members of the gang, who authorities say frequent the neighborhoods in and around the Nickerson Gardens housing project, would be subjected to special nuisance-abatement orders if a judge approves.
Delgadillo asked that the gang members be prohibited from standing, sitting, walking or driving with others named in the complaint, or with other members of the Bounty Hunters, and from possessing guns, selling drugs, acting as lookouts by whistling or yelling, blocking parking spaces and gambling.
Los Angeles Police Department officials said the measure would be useful in preventing gang members from taking over the parking spaces of residents at the housing project to sell drugs.
If the injunction is approved, police could force gang members to leave without involving the affected residents, who might otherwise fear retaliation, officials said.
The injunction is the second to be sought in South Los Angeles in recent weeks. The first was against the Rollin’ 60s street gang to the west of the Harbor Freeway off Slauson Avenue. A judge issued the injunction Wednesday.
“Gangs are nothing more than a form of evil,” said Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley. “Maybe someday we will go back to the days of the ‘70s, when gangs were just minor nuisances and not the dangerous cancers that they are today.”
Acknowledging that many local residents fear gang retaliation, LAPD Assistant Chief Jim McDonnell urged them to offer tips anonymously.
Gang injunctions are a method of controlling street gangs that has been employed in Los Angeles for at least a decade. There are some 16 such court orders in force around the city.
If approved, the Bounty Hunters’ injunction would apply to an area of about 20 square blocks north of Imperial Boulevard, south of 108th Street and east of Central Avenue.