Man claims he doesn't belong on gang injunction list

June 4, 2010 6:35:09 PM PDT
One day after an Alameda County judge approved a controversial gang injunction in Oakland, one man on the list is going public. He says he is not in a gang and doesn't belong on a list of people under a curfew and banned from hanging out in certain areas of the city.

"I ain't never been in no gang. You can ask any these neighbors around here, you will never see me with no gang or no gang members," says Yancie Young.

Young is one of 15 named in Oakland's new gang injunction and the only one fighting it in court.

"Number one, I don't share no tattoos. Number two, I never been arrested with none of these guys on this list. I don't even hang with these guys on this list," says Young.

At 28, he's lived in North Oakland all his life. He owns a home and goes to construction school.

By his own admission, Young has a checkered past. He has been arrested many times, even shot, but he says none of it adds up to gang membership.

"I done had a troubled youth, but like I said, I never been involved in any gangs and I have never been involved in a lot of the stuff that they're saying I'm involved in," says Young.

The injunction covers a 100 block stretch of North Oakland. It bans 15 members of the North Side Oakland gang from hanging out together and imposes a curfew. Critics and many neighbors say it amounts to legalized racial profiling.

"I think we do have a problem, I think it needs to be addressed, but not in the manner that they're addressing," says North Oakland resident Oscar Wright.

It's just North Oakland now, but the city attorney's office has plans to expand the injunction around the city.

In court documents, authorities say Young pistol whipped his girlfriend with a machine gun, search warrants on his home uncovered assault weapons, drugs for sale and gang paraphernalia.

"We've done extensive research, reading of crime reports, interviewing citizens, interviewing officers from other agencies, and there is clear and convincing evidence that these 15 individuals are part of a gang," says Oakland Police spokesperson Jeff Thomason.

What is clear for Young is that he has plans for a future and to get off the injunction list.

"Yes, I'm going to fight it in court. We're probably going to take it all the way to the supreme court and federal courts if we have to," says Young.


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