Update: On December 20, 2016, Criminal Court Judge Barry Steelman entered a written order for Temporary Injunctive Relief, which temporarily establishes the East Lake Safety Zone and prohibits gang members who have been served with the petition from participating in any of the prohibited activities listed below.
DA wants 2 gangs declared public nuisance, to create East Lake Safety Zone
On September 26, 2016, DA General Neal Pinkston filed a petition asking that two Chattanooga gangs, the Gangster Disciples and the Grape Street Crips, and their members be declared public nuisances.
General Pinkston is also asking that injunctive relief be given to the law-abiding residents of East Lake by establishing a Safety Zone that covers most of their neighborhood.
If the petition is granted, validated members of the Gangster Disciples and the Grape Street Crips will be forbidden from the following activities within the Safety Zone:
On October 3, 2016, Criminal Court Judge Barry Steelman held a hearing on the petition. He has set a second hearing for 10:00am on October 31, 2016.
In 2009, the Tennessee General Assembly amended the state’s nuisance statute to include criminal gangs. Hamilton County Criminal Court Clerk Vince Dean was a member of the state house at that time and he sponsored the bill. In 2014, state Senator Bo Watson was the primary sponsor who pushed for passage of the Community Safety Act to enhance the original legislation. State Representative Gerald McCormick sponsored the House version of the 2014 bill, with Rep. Mike Carter, Rep. Vince Dean, and Senator Todd Gardenhire of the local legislative delegation among the co-sponsors.