WILMINGTON — It’s been a little more than one year since District Attorney Ben David filed civil injunctions against members of the Folk Nation 720 Gangsta Disciples; now, three individuals who were targeted by the injunctions are filing for relief in Superior Court.
According to an email from Patrick Mincey, the attorney representing the members, “Attorneys filed a motion in New Hanover County Superior Court today seeking relief from a court-ordered permanent injunction on behalf of three individuals named in an injunction against the Folk Nation 720 Gangsta Disciples. The request responds to the permanent injunction entered on Jan. 17, 2018 that targeted dozens of Wilmington residents, effectively prohibiting them from congregating anywhere within the city limits, even for otherwise lawful purposes.”
The injunction was one of the first instances in the state of such an action but it is not a new concept. Civil injunctions have been used to fight gang activity in California and other states with much success, according to David.
But that is not entirely accurate according to Mincey.
“The original complaint was filed on behalf of the New Hanover County District Attorney. It is one of the first permanent injunctions against criminal gangs in North Carolina. Similar injunctions around the country have met with legal challenges and have been rolled back. Last year in Los Angeles, a court ordered 7,300 people released from the conditions of the gang injunction.” he said.
Mincey will be representing three of the gang members targeted by the injunction pro bono.
“I took this case on pro bono because, while I recognize that the injunction was well-intentioned when it started, there are constitutional issues that deserve a review. We will speak to the merits of our due process position in future filings with, and arguments before, the Court,” he said.
Related: One year later: A look at Wilmington’s gang injunction and the attempt to curb gang violence
Mincey said, “Courts have ruled that good people can, and do, get caught up in these injunctions unfairly,” said Mincey. “In a legal system that is built around due process, these injunctions can create a dangerous erosion of our guaranteed protections of that right.”
The email did not list the names of the three clients seeking relief.
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