Recently, the courts in Minnesota have implemented a civil gang injunction to help deter and control gang crimes. This injunction applies to criminal gangs, defined by law as associations of three or more people who engage in patterns of criminal activity. In addition, specific gang members can be named in such orders.
In this case, a governmental entity, such as law enforcement of a certain area, may apply to a district court judge to obtain a gang injunction. However, the judge has to find that the gang is a public nuisance and meet the civil law threshold of a “preponderance of the evidence,” which is lower than the threshold needed to obtain a criminal conviction.
According to a recent MNSun article a member of the Sureno 13 gang was charged with murder in the first degree and three counts of attempted murder in the first degree after a gang-related drive by shooting. Edgar Rene Barrientos-Quintana also known as “Smoky” of Richfield drove through a South Minneapolis neighborhood and fired at four individuals from the rear passenger window of a silver vehicle. His trial is to begin in Hennepin County District Court in mid-May.
With the new civil gang injunction, hopefully future gang crimes can be alleviated or at least give additional crime fighting tools to police to stop gang activity.