Suffolk County Takes On Gangs

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy is seeking a court injunction to combat gang activity in hot spot communities.  

Levy’s “Gang Watch List” program would prevent known gang members from hanging out with each other in public areas.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reports

“They can not congregate within these areas with other gang members, they can not congregate in the schools, in the parks,” Levy said.

The initiative will kick off in a two-square mile area of downtown Wyandanch. Other neighborhoods may be added later.

If the injunction is granted, gang members found congregating in public areas can be arrested for violating the court order.

“We’ve had it, we’re ready for our community to come back to us,” one woman said.

Levy said the program will be modeled after similar efforts in West Coast communities.

The Suffolk chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union will look at the proposal to see if it is constitutional. The organization released the following statement:

“The bottom line is that the NYCLU litigated this issue a decade ago and won in City of New York v. Andrews. The court held that the Constitution does not permit the government from banishing people from public areas, even if they are alleged gang members. The police have the right to engage in aggressive law enforcement, but it is unconstitutional to banish people from public areas. The County Executive’s proposal, which would make it illegal for alleged gang members to congregate in public areas implicates the same concerns as the Andrews case, and therefore, its constitutionality is questionable.”

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  • joehanna

    First: Get rid of Steve Levy.

  • Bill

    Round them up and lock them up. Find out who belongs in this country and who doesn’t and send them back to their own country. The problem is with the Suffolk county police. Compaired with other police departments Suffolk has a country club here. All they do is ride around, eat drink coffee and target law abiding Suffolk residents. This has to stop.

  • Brent

    It’s about time that something is being done to stop these people who harrass the population and inflict fear on others visiting our community.
    These youngsters are acting freely without the Police doing anything about it.

    this has to stop. Get the community back

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