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LA Judge Rejects Challenge To Graffiti Group Injunction

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A Los Angeles judge has rejected a challenge to a new injunction designed to limit the activities of a group of an alleged Los Angeles graffiti group, known as the Metro Transit Assassins, the office of City Attorney Carmen Trutanich announced Saturday.

KNX 1070’s Brian Ping Reports

Trutanich asked for the injunction against the Metro Transit Assassins in June 2010 to block its 10 members from associating with each other or possessing graffiti tools or weapons. It would also impose a mandatory curfew on each member of the crew.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Deirdre Hall issued her ruling Tuesday, rejecting defense arguments that the city had not stated proper grounds for the injunction.

Hill rejected the defendants’ arguments that their graffiti was artwork and therefore protected speech under the First Amendment.

She also said the city had sufficiently proven that the Metro Transit Assassins had engaged in unlawful business practices under state law.

“The judge’s ruling means our case is going forward, that we’re right and this legal theory is a valid one,” said Deputy City Attorney Jim McDougal with the Safe Neighborhoods and Gang Division.

“And hopefully it has an affect on the million middle school kids with markers who are looking up to these taggers.”

The civil suit filed against the Metro Transit Assassins asks the court for $1.25 million in fines and $3.7 million for damages for 500 graffiti incidents documented by the city.

The city’s next court appearance is scheduled for June 28.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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