PODER Responds to Gang Injunction Decision
updated: Jul 26, 2014, 1:30 PM
Source: Poder SB
PODER Gang injunction rally that took place in January
"On Tuesday, the ACLU of Southern California informed the defense team that this is the first successful
defense in a gang injunction case - not only in California, but anywhere in the country."
In a ground breaking decision, The Honorable Judge Colleen Sterne denied the request for a gang
injunction here in Santa Barbara. Judge Sterne declared that too much of the evidence provided by the
District Attorney and Santa Barbara Police Department was hearsay/speculation and that the city's failure to
provide unbiased expert witnesses lead her to deny the injunction.
We at PODER applaud the Judge's decision to uphold the constitutionally guaranteed civil liberties of
Latinos despite the best efforts of a few city officials to abrogate them. Judge Sterne is to be commended
for her fair and principled ruling against the gang injunction that was based on facts not hearsay or
speculation. This critical decision impacts the lives of not only the defendants on the list but all of our
communities. We the people of Santa Barbara, sent the message that protected liberties and all manner of
participation in civic life is worth fighting for.
This victory was possible by the committed work of 12 pro-bono attorneys including Steve Dunkle, Tara
Halland-Ford, Michael Hanley, Bill Makler, Neil Levinson, James Crowder, Juan Huerta, Olivia Rodriguez,
Gary Wayne, Luis Esparza, Alan Karow, and Joe Allen who worked tirelessly on the case for over 3 years. The
Defense were not just representing their clients but arguing against policies and practices that would have
harmed the community. A special thank-you to Dr. Edwina Barvosa who served as a key expert witness
during the trial. We express our sincere gratitude to Santa Barbara City Councilwoman Cathy Murillo and
Councilman Gregg Hart for their willingness to listen, learn, and stand with the community. Although it was
not safe nor popular, they chose to stand up for what was right. We thank Tom Parker and all the experts
who shared their knowledge with the public. We acknowledge the investigative reporters at Mission and
State who brought the truth and eventually lost their jobs for shedding light on the injustices.
We honor Babatunde Folayemi and Alberto Cazares for lighting the original spark that galvanized people
against the injunction, both of these individuals passed away during our journey for truth and justice.
Another special thank-you to Osiris Castaneda, Juan Pablo Herrera, Keith Terry, and Jacqueline Inda for
getting the work started and securing the attorneys.
We would also like to thank the Fund for Santa Barbara for their generous grant of $3,000 issued through
their emergency fund to help us pay for the material costs of organizing.
And of course, our greatest thanks goes to our own community - all those who attended our forums and
conferences, who organized, collaborated, and worked hard with us to defeat the injunction.
In the coming months ahead, we look forward to forming partnerships with like-minded organizations,
departments, and city officials who will advocate for the resources and programs to provide pro-youth
alternatives, increase public awareness on social justice issues, and create a space for community
empowerment for our teen-agers.
A celebration is planned and everyone is invited - more details to come.
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the
only thing that ever has" ~ Margaret Mead
PODER (People Organizing for the Defense and Equal Rights of Santa Barbara Youth) seeks to develop
alliances within the community that can advocate for the provision of resources and programs to generate
pro-youth alternatives, increase public awareness and action on social justice issues, and create a space for
July 22, 2014: Gang Injunction Denied
May 22, 2014: Mister X Revealed in
Gang Injunction Trial
May 15, 2014: Gang Injunction Trial
May 7, 2014: PODER Responds to
April 30, 2014: Filing of Claim For
April 29, 2014: More Defendants
Dropped from Gang Injunction
April 23, 2014: City Council Defends
April 21, 2014: Juvenile Justice
Opposes Gang Injunction
January 16, 2014: Claim For Damages
January 7, 2014: PODER Gang
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