WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Is the City of Wilmington putting an end to gang violence? In a surprise move, an injunction against the 720 Gangster Disciples gang has come to an early end.
The District Attorney announced the end of this injunction on October 4. This injunction was the first of its kind for the state.
But if it seemed to be working, then why end it early?
“It’s a safer place today and we believe it’s been very effective in the initially aims of this injunction,” District Attorney Ben David said.
The injunction against the Wilmington gang was designed to put an end to violent crimes across the city.
“Violent crime was up 25% the year before we filed this injunction,” David said. “It’s down 40% in the two years since.”
These numbers came from certain crime-ridden neighborhoods. In 2017, David requested the injunction against the 720 Gangster Disciples.
Now, 20 of the 23 members are either behind bars or awaiting trial.
“We focused on these particular individuals because we believed that the best indicator of future behavior was past behavior,” he said.
Now that injunction will come to an end one year early. It was supposed to last for three years. David says it has run it’s course.
“We’re ending it early because it was a promise we made two years ago to the members who were not running afoul of the law, that we were going to revisit it within two years,” he said.
David says violent crime has continued to go down, and they have essentially disbanded this gang. Future injunctions are a possibility though.
“We would absolutely look at other organizations and individuals to see if this injunction should be filed against them as well,” he said.
David says this injunction did its job, but their work is never done.
“We’re going to use every tool in the belt, including a civil remedy like an injunction, to do that,” he said. “If you run afoul of the criminal laws, we’re going to do everything we can to prosecute you to the fullest extent.”
The injunction will now end October 23.
With the help of this injunction, David says the state is looking at making changes to injunction laws to make them more effective. He hopes these changes will be made in December, so they can revisit other potential injunctions.