Council continues anti-gang ordinance to November meeting

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Submitted: Wed, 10/02/2013 - 3:17am
Updated: Wed, 10/02/2013 - 1:01pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — It was being viewed as a tool to help Wilmington Police combat gang activity, but the ACLU of North Carolina viewed a gang ban in area parks as a potential excuse for profiling in at risk communities.

“We were concerned about the way that it was drafted because it was not really fleshed out how law enforcement was going to identify gang members,” said Sarah Preston of the ACLU of North Carolina. “We were afraid that would lead to arbitrary enforcement and perhaps racial profiling.”

Based on those concerns council members voted 7-1, with Charlie Rivenbark voting the lone no vote, to send the ordinance back to city staff so they could clarify how suspects would be identified.

“We know who many of the players are,” Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous said. “We have had multiple instances where we’ve got called to locations and we’ve got there, dispersed people, and twenty minutes later we get another call that there was a shooting or multiple shootings involving those same groups of people.”

Despite council’s promise to Chief Evangelous to work quickly to give him another tool to fight crime, the ACLU says it won’t approve any of the known options.

“We haven’t seen that we were satisfied with,” Preston said. “What they need to be targeting is deterrents in young people from entering the gang in the first place. I think putting resources and efforts there is going to be much more successful ultimately than trying to discourage people from hanging out in parks.”

The revised anti-gang ordinance will be discussed again at the November 5 city council meeting.

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8 Comments on "Council continues anti-gang ordinance to November meeting"

2015 years 8 months ago

Drop the hammer. All GROUPS in parks should be approached and dispersed. If they paid for the space and are having a party then everything is good. If they are are just sitting around it is time to move on. Black, white, hispanic. It is time to get tough because that is the only language they understand.

2015 years 8 months ago

First if all, no one has to pay for a space at a public park, but you can reserve them for free. Also, are you saying people shouldn’t be allowed to congregate freely in a public park? That sounds pretty ridiculous. I agree with you that it’s time to drop the hammer on the gang violence and crimes but dispersing every group that congregates in a park is a silly idea.

Morty Sussman
2015 years 8 months ago

We all know that the gang thugs are predominately white nerds wearing green clothes! It would be wrong to profile them! Thanks to the ACLU, NAACP, and the fear by cops of those leftist groups suing them, crime will not be prevented with some common sense law enforcement. The liberal leftist groups and their whimsical pie in the sky dictates are making sure the Bloods, MS13 and other ethnic gangs can operate unchecked. Enjoy your cities becoming worse blood strewn crime ridden welfare ghetto hell holes than they already are, thanks to the pinko liberal leftists! Who, by the way, insulate themselves from the mess they make by living in gated communities, LOL!

2015 years 8 months ago

Are you for real or are you some 15-year old messing around?

2015 years 8 months ago

The deterrent for joining gangs is involved parents who put their children ahead of themselves. That won’t solve 100% but it will cut out a strong percentage. Parents = mother AND father. How about some consequences for bad behaviors? How about some consequences for failing grades? Oh that’s right, that would cut into the parents having to be be well, ummm… parents, not their friends, or worse, nothing to them.

2015 years 8 months ago

wow. I cant believe that the ACLU is more concerned about THUGS rights to go sit in a swing in the park and rob/kill people than they are about the safety of why it was built for the family that doesn’t commit crimes!! sarcasm intended

2015 years 8 months ago

It is called sarcasm, check into it.

2015 years 8 months ago

Morty take your medication as directed. Craig
Why do people go to parks?