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Delgadillo presents gang bills

first_imgDelgadillo joins a range of public officials and lawmakers who have proposed dozens of anti-gang measures in recent months. His package includes SB 271 by Sen. Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles, which would allow prosecutors to sue gangs for monetary damages and seize their assets to satisfy the judgments. Some gang members, he said, own homes, auto-repair shops, night clubs and their own homes. The funds would be spent by the city to improve the neighborhoods terrorized by gangs. Not all anti-gang crusaders, however, agree on the best approach. Republican lawmakers have generally focused on enhanced sentences and accuse Democrats of being soft on crime. Sen. George Runner, R-Lancaster, who has proposed his own anti-gang legislation, said the Delgadillo proposals and those by other Democrats simply tinker with existing laws. SACRAMENTO – Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo unveiled a slate of new anti-gang legislation Thursday that he said would help law enforcement tackle a “growing scourge upon our communities.” The half-dozen bills, authored by several Los Angeles-area legislators, include tougher penalties for gang-related activities and broader powers for enforcement officials. “We are here today because we have decided that enough is enough,” Delgadillo said at a Capitol news conference. “We have to get tougher and smarter. We have to forge partnerships among law enforcement agencies, public officials, the business community and local residents.” There are an estimated 150,000 gang members in California, including about 40,000 in Los Angeles. Last year, officials have said gang-related crime rose 14 percent in Los Angeles and 44 percent in the San Fernando Valley. “We are glad that there’s bipartisan recognition that gang crime should be a high priority for the Legislature. But our review of their package is that we don’t think it’s very creative,” Runner said. But Democrats said cracking down on gangs is not a partisan issue. “The last time I checked, gang members don’t interview victims as to their political affiliation or orientation,” said Sen. Mark Ridley-Thomas, D-Los Angeles, one of the authors of Delgadillo’s measures. “They are indiscriminate in their acts of violence. It is my view that what we have here is essentially legislators, irrespective of their partisan affiliation, concerning themselves with a very serious problem in this state.” [email protected] (916) 446-6723 California gang legislation More than a dozen bills aim to toughen regulations on gangs. Six were announced Thursday: SB 271 by Sen. Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles: Would allow prosecutors to go after gang assets to satisfy criminal judgments against them. AB 1013 by Assemblyman Paul Krekorian, D-Burbank: Would allow city attorneys to evict drug dealers who engage in illegal drug activity on the premises. SB 989 by Sen. Mark Ridley-Thomas, D-Los Angeles: Would add hate crimes to the list of crimes considered to be a pattern of criminal gang activity. AB 268 by Assemblyman Charles Calderon, D-Montebello: Would allow out-of-court statements by prosecution witnesses to become admissable in court. SB 844 by Sen. Ron Calderon, D-Montebello: Would toughen sentences for gang activities, child abuse and hate and drug crimes within 1,500 feet of a school. AB 1033 by Assemblywoman Anna Caballero, D-Salinas: Would classify gang recruiting as a criminal activity subject to one year in jail and/or a $2,500 fine.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more