WEST SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The court-ordered enforcement against the city’s infamous Broderick Boys has officially ended after nearly a decade.
The mayor said the controversial injunction to help stop gang violence is no longer necessary.
“You know we used to be running the street boxing in the street,” said Darwin Massey of West Sacramento.
Once a Broderick Boy, Massey did hard time for his involvement within the gang.
“I wasted so many years of my life chasing a lie,” he said.
And it started so young.
“I would say 13 or 14,” he said.
The infamous gang expanded across generations and it began to terrorize the community. So much so, the district attorney filed an injunction.
“It wasn’t just the violence, but it was the fact that they were going around shooting up grandma’s house,” said Mike Berger who has lived in the area his whole life.
West Sacramento natives say the court order was imperative.
“I am sure it curbed it you know,” he said referring to the violence.
He’s talking about the permanent gang injunction, a 3-square mile area known as the “safety zone” stretching from the Broderick to Bryte neighborhood in North West Sacramento. Young gang members would get picked up by police searching for curfew, weapons, drugs, and graffiti violations.
“The injunction did its job and it allowed us to put a lid on the criminal activity,” said West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon.
The injunction was controversial, some saying it violated civil rights.
Opponents started groups like “Broderick is a Community, Not a Gang.”
On its Facebook page they wrote: “Our mission: four mothers are taking a stand to stop the gang injunction. This is for our four sons who are being victimized (& incarcerated) by this gang injunction. It is up to the community of Bryte, Broderick and West Sacramento to make a change for our neighborhood, our youth and the future of our city.”
Many marched in West Sacramento hoping for an appeal in 2016. The ruling was not overturned and lasted nearly 8 years, only expiring last month.
“That allowed us the time to be able to deal with some of the root causes,” Cabaldon said.
Over the years, police say it helped calm the violence and allowed the city to start education options from preschool to college.
“We are the first community in our country that is implementing universal preschool, plus college savings accounts, plus college internships for high-school students, and free community college and college scholarships all which are intended to provide a very clear pathway that’s an alternative to joining a gang in the first place,” Cabaldon said.
Growing up into a Broderick boy at an impressionable age, Massey wishes he would’ve had more options.
“All we were doing out here was nothing, wasting time,” he said.
While controversial, he looks back and says it was necessary.
“The injunction served its purpose whether we liked it or not, it served its purpose,” he said.
Though gangs still exist, Massey hopes to lead by example for youth in his hometown.
“Don’t ever let anybody force you into something that you were not,” he said.