Gang crackdown underway in North Oakland

February 18, 2010 6:56:40 PM PST
Oakland police is linking a number of crimes to a North Oakland street gang. They are hoping a court-ordered gang injunction will break up the group.

Robberies, witness intimidation, drug dealing and murders are just a few of the crimes occurring in North Oakland.

Authorities say the north side Oakland gang has terrorized people who live and work in that side of the city for years and they hope a court-ordered gang injunction will finally put a stop to it.

"They have terrorized our community, intimidated witnesses and recruited young people and children to their criminal enterprise," Oakland City Attorney John Russo said.

Police beleive the gang may even be recruiting new members from local high schools.

The city named 19 of the most dangerous members in its injunction, but there could be more than double that living in North Oakland.

If a judge approves the order, those 19 shot callers would be barred from gathering in a 100 block stretch on their turf.

Some young men hanging out in North Oakland didn't like the sound of that.

"How you are all going to try to stop somebody from hanging with their friends they grew up with? There are no gangs out here. You all don't know what you are all talking about," a young man said.

ABC7 was in the middle of interviewing a young woman on the very spot where a man was recently murdered, when we were told to leave.

Investigators believe that in recent years, the north side of Oakland is responsible for at least 11 murders.

That list of murders also includes the brazen Labor Day shooting that took place on 54th street where 17-year-old Desiree Davis was an innocent victim. She was walking down the street when she was caught in the cross fire.

Davis may have been killed by a rival gang shooting at someone from north side her murder remains unsolved.

Josephine Lee lives a block away.

"You have to be aware of your surroundings and you know where to go and where not to go," she said.

She and her neighbors hope the injunction works; though they say just about anything will be an improvement because it can't get any worse.