â€œThey said, â€˜Itâ€™s getting ready to blow up. Youâ€™ve got to do something,â€™â€ Babatunde Foleyemi told the crowd gathered Thursday night at Franklin School on Santa Barbaraâ€™s Lower Eastside. â€œI went to the police. They did nothing.â€
Youth advocate Babatunde Folayemi speaks out against Santa Barbaraâ€™s proposed gang injunction during a forum Thursday night at Franklin School. The panel also included Tomas Carrasco, left, Ph.D. candidate of Chicano studies at UCSB.
Before Angel Linares was stabbed to death on State Street by gang members in 2007, community activist Babatunde Foleyemi said he had people from both sides of town coming to him, warning of the violence to come.
â€œThey said, â€˜Itâ€™s getting ready to blow up. Youâ€™ve got to do something,â€™â€ he told the crowd gathered Thursday night at Franklin School on Santa Barbaraâ€™s Lower Eastside. â€œI went to the police. They did nothing.â€
A scathing indictment of the Police Department, as well as failing education policies, were part of the impassioned, sometimes raw, meeting.
The three panelists, including Foleyemi, a longtime advocate for youth, spoke in front of about 150 people. The forum, sponsored by the Santa Barbara Coalition for Social Justice and PUEBLO, touched on the cityâ€™s proposed gang injunction as well as education policies that affect young people in Santa Barbara.
In March, Police Chief Cam Sanchez announced his support for a gang injunction that would restrict the activities of 30 people, allegedly Eastside and Westside gang members. If approved by a judge, those individuals would be prohibited from being on school grounds and in parks, acting as lookouts, using gang signs, speaking with minors going to and from school, and wearing gang-related clothing in public.
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The cityâ€™s actions regarding gangs and Latino youth was the first item on the agenda at the forum at Santa Barbaraâ€™s Casa de la Raza, community center.