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The Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office has filed a civil case seeking a permanent injunction severely restricting the criminal and nuisance activities of one of the prolific and destructive graffiti or “tagging” crews and ten of its known adult members operating and engaged in vandalism within the City of Los Angeles.
Named as defendants in the injunction are Metro Transit Assassins (MTA) which is named as an organization, and ten known adult members of the MTA tagging crew.
The ten members of the MTA named in the injunction are also known to associate with other tagging crews across the city.
MTA is known to be responsible for a quarter-mile long work of graffiti vandalism, known as a “bomb,” on the walls of the Los Angeles river bed – an effort which required an estimated $3.7 million in clean up costs.
The Los Angeles Board of Public Works, Office of Community Beautification, estimates that it alone spends in excess of $7 million annually for graffiti abatement and other clean-up costs related to graffiti vandalism in the City of Los Angeles.
The complaint seeks an injunction as part of a public nuisance abatement, similar to a civil gang injunction, and is based on the graffiti crew’s costly vandalism, violence, and narcotics trafficking activities.
Unlike previous civil gang injunctions, however, the City Attorney is not seeking a pre-defined Safety Zone, because this tagging crew and its members commit their criminal and nuisance activities over a broad area of the region and are not limited to a defined area.
With this injunction, the City Attorney’s Office seeks to severely limit the named tagging crew’s criminal and nuisance activities by imposing a list of conditions, including a prohibition against MTA tagging crew members from associating with each other, and from possessing graffiti tools or weapons, as well as a mandatory curfew for the defendants, among other provisions.
The civil suit also seeks $250,000 in civil penalties and $3.7 million in damages for the 500 documented incidents of graffiti vandalism associated with the tagging crew.
A court hearing has been set for August 31, 2010 to address service of the injunction on the MTA tagging crew.
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