St. Paul hopes to make pre-emptive strike with lawsuit to keep gangs away from Cinco de Mayo festival

St. Paul has gone to court with an innovative plan to keep gangs from disrupting the Cinco de Mayo Festival on St. Paul’s West Side.

A court has been asked to issue injunctions against members of the Sureño 13 gang, ordering them to stay away from the Latino festival which, despite its name, will be held May 1 and 2.

Officers served papers on the gang members over the weekend, and Mayor Chris Coleman, along with Police Chief John Harrington and City Attorney John Choi, will speak at a press conference this afternoon to discuss the plan.

A hearing on the city’s motion for a temporary injunction has been scheduled for April 24 in Ramsey County District Court.

The court papers were sealed until 9:30 this morning, because officials feared that the gang members might go into hiding, to avoid being served, if the information was made public in advance.

Officials say this “Civil Gang Injunction Lawsuit” will be the first in Minnesota to give “injunctive relief prohibiting criminal gangs from disrupting the community events.”

The press conference is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. at City Hall.

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