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Santa Barbara Judge Rules Against Proposed Gang Injunction

The city of Santa Barbara will not have a gang injunction after all.

Judge Colleen Sterne made her ruling Tuesday morning with the release of the court’s Statement of Decision.

Sterne agreed, to a point, with the district attorney’s office saying the activities of the eastside and westside gangs are a “nuisance” but not a “public nuisance.”

The judge cited the Rockspring neighborhood of San Jose, where gang activity was so bad, residents lived like prisoners in their own homes.

Sterne found that is not the case in Santa Barbara.

NewsChannel 3 talked to the mayor and police chief for reaction.

“Disappointed,” said Police Chief Cam Sanchez. “But you never know about these things. I was looking at it as another tool for our department to keep the city safe in certain areas and it didn’t work out that way. But we respect the judge’s decision.”

“I think the most important thing for everyone is that we are going to continue to use every tool available to make sure our residents and visitors are safe,” said Mayor Helene Schneider. “We’re going to review the ruling..and figure out what our impacts and options are in the future.”

City officials say they were surprised to learn about the judge’s decision through the media.

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