City, police use civil suit to put pressure on Kurdish Pride gang

Tuesday, June 5, 2012 at 6:10pm

Some trees in Paragon Mills Park bear signs of the Kurdish Pride gang — black spray-painted letters “K P” are on a couple, one is branded with the word “Killa.”

Twenty feet away sits a well-kept, but empty, playground set that is the centerpiece of the park where gang members meet daily to discuss criminal activity, according to Sgt. Gary Kemper of the Metro Nashville Police Department Gang Unit.

Tuesday morning Metro officials announced they had just filed a civil lawsuit in Davidson County Criminal Court that they see as one of the “tools in the toolbox” to combat gang activity, in this case in the heart of South Nashville and the KPG’s turf.

The suit — set to go before Judge Steve Dozier for a June 29 hearing — declares that the KPG and specifically 24 of its most active members are public nuisances to the city and should be legally prevented from associating with one another within a 1.43-square-mile “safety zone.” In addition, KPG gangsters would be forbidden from being in either Paragon Mills Park or nearby Providence Park at all.

The safety zone is roughly bordered by Interstate 24 to the east, Harding Place to the south, Nolensville Pike to the west and the railroad tracks near Nashville Zoo to the north.

Such a lawsuit is believed to be the first of its kind in Tennessee. It became possible in 2009, when, at the urging of Metro officials, the state legislature added certain gang activity to the state’s definition of a public nuisance.

That June, the state attorney general’s office warned that to bring gang members within the legal definition of a public nuisance police and prosecutors would have to sufficiently prove that not only are they gang members but also that the gang has engaged in a pattern of criminal activity.

In California, where Los Angeles and San Jose have used such suits, the American Civil Liberties Union has spoken out against their use, raising concerns they could lead to police profiling and violations of due process against those enjoined by a suit. But Metro attorneys and police believe they’ve done enough homework to enforce such an injunction without trampling on rights and opening up holes in the suit.

The prospect of filing such a civil suit was first announced in April of 2010 by former police Chief Ronal Serpas. The process has trudged along slowly and deliberately since.

Addressing the drawn out process, current Chief Steve Anderson said, “We’re proceeding very cautiously. This is a new area for us, [and] we want to make sure that we do this in a manner that will stand the test in court. And then obviously we wanted to document all of the things that made us eligible to seek this injunction.”

Metro attorneys and police have been building a case against those named in the suit that Metro legal director Saul Solomon believes will stand up in court.

The suit, Solomon said, is “narrowly tailor[ed]” around a specific area where much of the criminal activity occurs. “It’s a balancing act between what we think the community needs and what the rights of the individuals are.”

Without the injunction, police are limited at preventing gang members from meeting in parks and other areas.

“It’s not against the law to have a gang meeting,” Kemper said. “Now with this injunction, we [could] keep them out of this park so people will feel safe to be in here.”

Even if the suit is successful and gang members are prohibited from being in the parks and associating with each other in public places, they would not be prevented from gathering in the context of school and religious events or with family members.

Could it just lead to the gangsters moving their activity to new meeting places? Yes, according to Kemper. “They’re going to [move], we know that,” he said. “The whole idea is to keep the pressure on them.”

To do so, the perimeters of the “safety zone” may be adjusted in the future and, though this particular suit is the first of such for Metro, Anderson left the door open to seek similar legal leverage against other areas or gangs in the city.

Two of those listed in the lawsuit — Ako and Aso Nejad — were sentenced in 2008 on conspiracy to commit murder charges.

16 Comments on this post:

By: 4gold on 6/5/12 at 6:52

Sounds like it will just drive them underground. Give them a nice new country to live in and this is the thanks you get. Send them back to Irac.

By: yogiman on 6/6/12 at 12:24

Looks like a lot of "ifs" here. "If" they are members of a gang, place an "in house" gang member in their gang to keep a constant eye on them and catch them in a crime. When caught, deny bail and keep them in jail until trial. When found guilty, give the the maximum sentence to serve rather than the minimum with no early relief for good behavior.

Maybe give them pink jail "uniforms" like Sheriff Arpaio of Arizona to get their attention..

By: ghost7638ghost7... on 6/6/12 at 6:42

Why not just take them out and shoot all of them, then go get the Mexicans and do this to them, then all motorcycle gands then politicians, for which I would be in favor of, especially that kenya muslium ****** in our white house.

By: ghost7638ghost7... on 6/6/12 at 6:44

It is a shame that this site cencors my right to freedon of speaks, obama is a spade and they would not print what I write hail hilter

By: dargent7 on 6/6/12 at 7:02

"It is a shame..." The only shame is people like you being allowed to walk freely among the rest of normal society. Go back to where ever it is that you came.

By: yogiman on 6/6/12 at 7:55

Did you mean came "from", dargent7?

By: proserv394 on 6/6/12 at 8:29

Deport them that simple. @ghost...
You are such a redneck fool freedom of speach does not include raciest slurs. I think you should be deported also to dumb & stupid land.

By: yogiman on 6/6/12 at 9:20

We could understand you better if you learned English, ghost7638ghost7. That way, you could write a sentence in an understandable language... maybe.

By: Left-of-Local on 6/6/12 at 10:35

Ill first state that you probably should not talk about big boy topics is you cannot spell the countries of origin in question. Or for that matter assume you know the nation at all. And I am not even going to address the toddler ramblings of ghostgibberish89275892347. Get bent, hillbilly.

That said... this is DUMB. Come on, Metro!!

"Hey maybe the problem will go away if we just push it off to a different area." So, what, now they get to set up camp in MY neighborhood? What's next? Push them out of the county? So they can ruin Cheatham? (Well... too late... better example: Rutherford. :-P )

What about that dumb-ass dress code, guys? I thought the magic solution to all gang activity was to ban blue jeans fro the butts of 7 year olds? What about that GEM?

When will Metro get serious about gangs, and stop subscribing to all the wrong solutions. Let's get some hard-hitting tactical bad-asses from South Central in the force, and start breaking this up from the inside. Intelligent, strong, smart, and clever cops with very good aim. Not more traffic stops and turf-splitting bench orders.

By: Jughead on 6/6/12 at 11:31

Send the Muslim pukes back to Iran/Iraq/whatever inbred country they came from. They will NEVER obey the law.

By: Jughead on 6/6/12 at 11:32

Muslims ARE the problem. But, liberal culture will crucify anyone for speaking the truth.

By: RTungsten on 6/6/12 at 12:47

Shouldn't they make this happen, then post the details on the interwebz? Capture first, report later.

By: yogiman on 6/6/12 at 2:29

If they are from Iraq, or Iran, how did they get justified to enter the US? Are they here legally or are they illegal aliens?

If they aren't citizens there are laws that can be followed to rebuke their papers.

By: Left-of-Local on 6/7/12 at 6:16

Nice, Jughead. Excellent demonstration that Christians are part of the problem, too.

... as are all religions. Except maybe Buddhists. Those people are pretty lax.

By: jonw on 6/8/12 at 5:35

JON
"- - In California, where Los Angeles and San Jose have used such suits, the American Civil Liberties Union has spoken out against their use, raising concerns they could lead to police profiling"

Who would have guessed that ACLU would come down on the side of murderous gangs?

Everyone? ? ?

By: ImWithStupid on 6/9/12 at 7:03

For the life of me, I cannot figure out how the rest of America gets the hair-brained idea that people from the South are racist and illiterate. Really...it's a mystery.