Harris County drops Banhammer against Bloods, Crips - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Harris County drops Banhammer against Bloods, Crips

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In a two-year period, there were hundreds of calls to police from a two-block radius.

An area called Brays Oaks, populated by people, a school, daycare along with the Bloods and the Vrips.

Harris County officials are once again using civil litigation to rid communities of crime.

In Brays Oaks, the Harris County Attorney has obtained a temporary injunction against several members of the notorious gangs, the Bloods and the Crips.  They are now banned from the area designated as a safety zone.

"What we can do as a civil county attorney is we can keep people from doing criminal activity in advance," Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan said.

Harris County also sued two southwest Houston convenience store owners.  Officials claim Albury Food Mart and I&A Food Mart were hubs for the criminals.  The stores are now temporarily banned from selling single cigarettes or glass tubes that can be used for crack pipes.  The owners must also increase their security with cameras.

The use of civil litigation to fight crime is a work-in-progress in Harris County.  

It was back in 2010 when several gang members were sued at Haverstock Hills Apartments, a place county prosecutors said was plagued by crime.

The violence that gripped Haverstock caused a lot of people to stay in their apartments. The likelihood of being shot in a hail of gunfire was very real two years ago.

Cynthia Stafford has lived in the complex for over a decade.  

"It was bad, it was worse.  I mainly stayed in my house I'm for peace me," Stafford said.

After county officials sued the gangs, they were banned from the complex.  To return meant they could be arrested.  Residents of Haverstock now say they're at peace.

Rochelle Clay is also a resident at Haverstock.

"I think Haverstock has improved since I've been here in 2010 it's now 2012," Clay said.

They're now looking forward to 2013 after a simple piece of paper called a lawsuit kicked out the gangs.  Something that could soon become a reality at Brays Oaks as well.

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