Nashville Police Try To Control Kurdish Gang
Brian Haas writes in The Tennessean:
Metro police on Tuesday filed a civil lawsuit to wrest control of an area in South Nashville from the clutches of the Kurdish Pride gang by banning members from congregating in a 1.47-mile “safety zone.”
The department is targeting 24 of what they call the “worst of the worst” members of the gang, hoping a judge will ban them from publicly gathering in a zone that encompasses part of an area known as Little Kurdistan and includes Paragon Mills and Providence Park. The injunction lawsuit is the fruit of a three-year effort to combat gangs for detectives to build their case and attorneys to try and bullet-proof it from legal challenges. The injunction is the first of its kind ever filed in Tennessee, but a tactic used successfully for years in other states like California.
Police say Kurdish Pride members were involved in at least one murder, multiple beatings and shootings, drug dealing, illegal weapons and vandalism. Incidents include the 2006 attempted murder of a Metro Parks Police officer and multiple graffiti messages threatening a Metro Police Gang Unit detective.
Metro must first persuade Criminal Court Judge Steve Dozier that those named in the suit are actually gang members and that they should be banned from the area. A hearing is scheduled for June 29 where each suspected gang member will have a chance to challenge the lawsuit.
That is music to Amos Byers’ ears. He’s lived near Paragon Mills Park for 30 years – sometimes regretting moving into the neighborhood at all.
“I would never have bought this house had I known it would be like this,” he said. “It’s been a problem. Fights, shootings, gang wars. I’ve had my house paint-balled a few times, egged a few times, vehicle windows shot out.”
He welcomed Metro’s latest attempt to tamp down on gangs there, but wondered how committed police would be to enforcing the injunction.
“That would help immensely,” he said, quickly adding, “They just have to have someone here.”
Posted on 06/06/2012 8:52 AM by Rebecca Bynum