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LA Will Pay Up to $30M to Help Gang Members

The city was sued for enforcing curfews on suspected gang members
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 16, 2016 6:58 PM CDT
LA Will Pay Up to $30M to Help Gang Members
An LAPD officer speaks with Los Angeles residents in South Central.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Los Angeles will have to pay up to $30 million to provide gang members with job training, tattoo removal, and more after settling a class-action lawsuit this week, the Los Angeles Times reports. The city was sued in 2011 for enforcing curfews—part of the city's widespread gang injunctions—despite them being declared illegal by a California appeals court in 2007. There are nearly 50 gang injunctions around Los Angeles prohibiting suspected gang members from carrying weapons, wearing certain clothes, or socializing with certain groups; 21 of those injunctions require suspected gang members to be inside by 10pm. Critics say the curfews are too broadly defined and unfairly labeled young people as gang members without proof or a trial, according to the AP.

If the settlement agreement is approved by the court, the city will pay between $4.5 million and $30 million into a nonprofit it created to help those victimized by curfews. The amount depends on how many of the approximately 5,700 people covered by the curfews come forward. The Los Angeles city attorney says the nonprofit will allow gang members "to gain the job skills they need to turn their lives around." As part of the agreement, the city will stop enforcing the curfews. “Gang injunctions are a form of psychological abuse on a whole generation of young people of color,” the AP quotes one man arrested for violating curfew. “Because I was wrongly labeled as a gang member, I couldn’t even be outside helping my mom with the groceries at night." (More gangs stories.)

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