Police Chief Scott Whitney’s Response to Accusations of the Unconstitutionally of Civil Gang Injunctions



By Chief of Police Scott Whitney, Oxnard

Related Op-ed: The Unconstitutional Oxnard Civil Gang Injunctions are a Fear Mongering Fraud and must be Rescinded!

It’s not easy reading an incoherent, rambling, and misleading document. It’s also disappointing, but not surprising, to hear the same tired, shallow, and untrue allegations. There are no “cornered rats” and no one is “scrambling pathetically.” Our communities need individuals that are able to work together in an honest manner. We don’t need hate-filled, divisive, and bullying tactics.

Like most big cities, Oxnard has its share of gang members and gang violence. Just this past week, there were gang-motivated shootings, including a homicide, in one of our injunction safety zones. There is no “fear mongering” campaign.

The injunctions went into effect after well-publicized court trials. The California Supreme Court previously approved the use of gang injunctions to abate the public nuisance caused by street gangs and their members. Gang injunctions are only directed toward active gang members, not community members.

They help the Police Department improve the quality of life for the people who live and work in our city. They reduce gang crime, make it harder for street gangs to recruit our children, and provide an incentive to get out of gangs. The injunctions also mitigate the intimidation and control that a small number of gang members can have over entire neighborhoods.

No matter what neighborhood we go to, residents always want the same thing. We all want our families to be safe. We want our family members to be free of crime, fear, and intimidation. The overwhelming majority of our residents support the use of gang injunctions.

The armchair critic that recklessly uses the “racism” term in regards to our police practices is, at best, uninformed. It’s just not true. The allegation is unfair, it undermines the credibility of the one making it and it is one more factor that drives community members apart. We need community leaders that bring us together.

The injunctions are but one enforcement tool. They are no panacea. In fact, we have used them in a conservative and measured manner.  We know that enforcement must be combined with other efforts to strengthen our communities. We are advocates for youth engagement and prevention/intervention programs. We believe in youth diversion programs, alternatives to incarceration, strengthening families, after-school programming, second chances for offenders and other options for our high-risk populations.

We’re committed to working with our neighborhoods, in a partnership of shared safety. We will continue to look for new resources, continue to work with all groups and every individual that wants to step up to make our city safer.

Related Op-ed: The Unconstitutional Oxnard Civil Gang Injunctions are a Fear Mongering Fraud and must be Rescinded!

Scott Whitney is chief of police in Oxnard California

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7 Responses to Police Chief Scott Whitney’s Response to Accusations of the Unconstitutionally of Civil Gang Injunctions

  1. Camille Harris April 24, 2019 at 4:58 pm

    Incentives for alternative, positive behaviors are the key, and these must begin at an early age. Kids are seduced into gangs as early as third grade. Following the L.A.riots in 1992, we founded L.A. Fit For Kids to address this problem in the Rampart Division, and it was highly effective in gang and violence prevention. It was a matriculating program beginning in first grade through high school. It was a collaboration between the teachers at Commonwealth School, seniors, the police dept., local businesses, sports companies (Adidas, Keds, New Balance, and Reebok.) and some L.A. corporations (Arco, Mercer Co., etc) It took a lot of selling to get everyone on the same page, but was amazing in its effectiveness.

    • William Hicks April 25, 2019 at 1:16 am

      Ms. Harris:

      Maybe you might connect with Miguel Espinosa and provide hi with contact people from “L.A. Fit For Kids.”

      I prefer to see success stories; not an inherited, from generation to generation, permanent poor.

  2. Mark Savalla April 22, 2019 at 1:03 pm

    Thanks Chief for responding to that Leftist communist liar and hater of our Constitution. I am a 33 year retired LAPD officer and LA used “Gang Injunctions” quite successfully. The citizens in the areas affected were appreciative and thankful for the positive impact it had on their neighborhoods.

  3. Miguel Espinosa April 22, 2019 at 12:28 pm

    Not only are the Civil Gang Injunctions unconstitutional, they do not address the problem with workable solutions. After all these years, Oxnard management and police department have not figured out what the source of gang involvement is and, by not understanding the problem, they have not arrived at adequate solutions.
    The main cause of the gang problem is “Mexican Family Dysfunction.” The city of Oxnard has avoided the true problem because it does not want to invest in solutions. Mayor Tim Flynn prefers investing obscene amounts of tax payer funds providing his friends in the police department high wages managing the gang injunctions than solving the problem.
    Making matters worse, Mayor Flynn supports Spanish language business, medical and financial centers that eliminate the need to learn English. Neither the parents nor the children of farm worker families is required to learn English. This exacerbates the issues non-English speaking families have and contributes to delinquency and gang activity. I am willing to meet with Chief Whitney and city of Oxnard officials to promote solutions to Mexican Family Dysfunction.

    • William Hicks April 23, 2019 at 11:15 pm

      Mr. Espinosa:

      Please identify what you call “Mexican Family Dysfunction. “

  4. Miguel Espinosa April 22, 2019 at 12:08 pm

    I would like to begin by saying Chief Scott Whitney is my friend whom I appreciate for providing our city with a fair minded police department leader unlike his predecessor who regarded killing Mexican youth a pleasurable hunting sport. However, being a nice guy isn’t all there is to being cognizant the communities deep and difficult problems.
    To begin with, we must look at the gang problem realistically and know it’s cause and what it takes to solve it.
    Gangs are the direct result of what I call, Mexican Family Dysfunction which result from highly uneducated Mexicans coming to Oxnard to make a better life for their families. Most of the parents in these families have little or no education and little or no parenting skills creating the condition I call, “Mexican Family Dysfunction.” Usually, both parents in these families work long, hard hours in the fields. They send their kids to English language schools where they experience the extraordinary difficulty of learning an education in a foreign language.
    Ordinary students must enhance their classroom education by performing homework assignments. Mexican parents are unable to assist their school children this way. Furthermore, parents who come home from a long day in the fields are exhausted with little ability to provide the support their children need even if they could. Small children need socialize with other children their age.
    Children of immigrant laborers have little choice with whom to socialize. Too often their choices are negative children like themselves with parents who are unable to give them the proper guidance and supervision. Crime and delinquency are the result.
    Chief Scott did not refer to these problems. Perhaps he is unaware of them or misinformed. The remedies Chief Whitney referred to sound good but they are totally inadequate. They do not address the root of the problem, they do not even take into consideration Mexican Family Dysfunction. Good intentions do not solve serious problems and that is what Chief Whitney is attempting to do. Mexican Family Dysfunction requires a holistic
    approach that takes into consideration non-English speaking parents, most of whom do not try to learn English, business, medical and financial centers all operated in Spanish (no need to learn English) and a city environment that does not seek and provide remedies to these issues.
    To this date, the city of Oxnard has not developed a system to address the basic problems. The gang injunctions sidestep all of the potential solutions.
    I would like to meet with Chief Whitney to discuss why his good intentions are not enough and ask his support in developing positive changes to address the real problem: Mexican Family Dysfunction.

    • William Hicks April 24, 2019 at 9:55 pm

      Mr. Espinosa:

      I am a long time citizen, a native born citizen, of California. I grew up in a very diverse State. Those that came here from foreign countries did not flood the State with non-english speaking people that overwhelmed the schools abilities to assimilate in order to prosper.

      It was a rare thing that within a year, a student did not learn english. What do you think would improve this among current non-english speaking people.

      I prefer to see success not a perpetual failure; the failure that currently exists that perpetuates a permanent poor class.

      We live in a State that has not only the highest population of illegal aliens but the highest percentage of the poor. How, in your opinion can this be changed?


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