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California city has gang violence surge

According to the police chief of the Santa Ana Police Department, the city of Santa Ana has experienced a disturbing spike in gang violence. Since the beginning of 2016, in excess of 50 shootings have happened in the city, incidents the police attribute to gang activity.

On Feb. 16, a man was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting near an elementary school. On Feb. 17, a man who had previously served eight years for assaulting an officer allegedly shot at officers on patrol, injuring one. On the morning of Feb. 18, a man went to the hospital with a gunshot wound, and later, police shot and killed two suspects in a burglary.

In 2014, 24 shootings occurred during the month of January, while in 2015, 41 shootings occurred in January. The police chief believes the passage of Proposition 47, which reclassified some offenses as misdemeanors instead of felonies, may be helping to drive the crime increase in the city. He believes this because people are not staying in jail as long with the shorter sentences for misdemeanors.

Violent crimes such as murder or manslaughter can expose a person who is charged with them to the potential for years of prison. Those who are in this position may want to get help from a criminal defense attorney as early as they can in order to begin constructing ways to challenge the prosecution's case. In some cases, a person is not identified correctly while in others, authorities may have violated the defendant's constitutional rights. The attorney may then file a motion to dismiss.

Source: Sputnik News, "California town helpless, overrun by gang violence," Feb. 21, 2016.

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