City Council questions law to ban gangs from parks

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Some Wilmington City Council members are questioning how successful an ordinance banning known gang members from parks will be.

Their first concern: is it constitutional? The second: isn't it just moving gang members to other areas of the city?

Wilmington's police chief says officers have to start somewhere, and getting gang members out of parks will give cops a jump on crime.

"It'll give us a tool," Chief Ralph Evangelous said. "We've had incidents in the past of groups of gang members being there and criminal activity occurred. So what did we do? We responded after the crime. This will allow us to be able to respond before the crime occurs and hopefully stop it from occuring."

Wilmington would be the first city in the state to adopt such an ordinance.

It goes before city council tomorrow night.

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No disrespect chief but you said it yourself. I am willing to venture that 98% of police involvement in major gang crime is reaction to a crime committed. I suggest it be mandatory to apply and triple the maximum sentence for gang related offenses. These are crimes of terror against the community.

I think that would be a more effective deterrent than a preventive act. Now, if the Justice Department could get behind you, then you might have something effective in deterring people from becoming gang members

Maybe we need to have some new laws that makes it illegal to shoot other people, sell drugs and commit violent acts. Oh wait, those already exist and are ignored, what good do they think wasting time passing a pretty unenforceable new law is going to do. They have better things to spend their time on instead of some make yourself feel good law.

How about spending that time on how to increase the budget for the criminal justice system so we can actually keep these criminals in prison and not keep slapping their Pee Pee when they do get caught.

I agree! The gangs are getting terrible in Wilmington, NC. I moved here in August of 2011 and lived downtown for a year in a half. I watch the crime get worse and worse. Maybe, the stats on star news are better than before, but it seems that the crimes are getting more violent. People are getting shot at softball games, delivery drives are getting killed for money, and we need to do something about NOW. This seems to be a good start. I assume we have to enforce this by dress code, or are we just going to ban individuals that we know have had gang related criminal records.

Those parks are for children to play in, not for gang members to recruit people, scare people, bully people, and kill people in. Public property is off limits, period.

yea that's it pass another law that cops wont be around to enforce, because if they were around the wouldn't be the need to enforce it. beside I am sure this will be the one law the will obey.