Yesterday, Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy asked for a preliminary injunction to bar 37 gang members from a two-mile square "safety zone" in Wyandanch. Levy said, "Gangs ... have a propensity to take over school yards and street corners. They do not own those streets, the people of the community own those streets," and the injunction would prohibit gang members from wearing "gang colors, making gang signs or even gathering on corners or in parks," Newsday reports.
Last year, Suffolk County started to put together a "gang watch list", but the NYCLU's Amol Sinha told Newsday, "This whole thing is unconstitutional," pointing out that it's not against the law for people to be gathering together while engaging in non-criminal activity. And what if they really like the color red?
The NY Times reports, "A similar effort was tried in New York City in 2000, when the police sought to block prostitutes and gang members from congregating in Queens Plaza. A State Supreme Court justice overturned the ban, saying the gang members’ activities were not dangerous enough to warrant restricting their civil liberties." And a man at a Wyandanch playground said it was a "notorious" gang hangout but added, "To arrest somebody without committing a crime — I don’t agree with that. I don’t believe in profiling, and that sounds like profiling."