Anti-graffiti gang injunction moves forward in court
A law enforcement effort to deter the Metro Transit Assassins gang from defacing public property with graffiti "tagging" will get a court hearing next month after a Los Angeles judge threw out defense motions challenging the injunction, the city attorney's office said Friday.
The request for a permanent injunction against the gang members filed nearly a year ago seeks to prohibit known MTA members from associating with one another or possessing graffiti tools and imposes a curfew on the gang members, said Frank Mateljan of the city attorney's office.
The civil suit filed in June 2010 seeks $1.2 million in penalties and $3.7 million in damages for the MTA tagging crew's "500 documented incidents of graffiti vandalism," the city attorney's office said in a statement.
She ruled that the 1st Amendment "does not protect destruction of public or private property by graffiti vandalism, trespass and illegal activities."
A hearing on the proposed injunction is scheduled June 28 in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
-- Carol J. Williams
Photo: The Metro Transit Assasins created a three-story-high, half-mile-long scrawl of their moniker along the concrete banks of the Los Angeles River in 2009. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times