Gang prevention ruling to expire in Hidden Valley community

by: Tina Terry Updated:

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CHARLOTTE —

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police told Eyewitness News that violent crimes in the Hidden Valley neighborhood have declined dramatically since last August.

They said rapes are down 40 percent, aggravated assaults are down 24 percent, and robberies are down 16 percent. In all, violent crimes are down 21 percent.

Lt. Dave Harris said the numbers have a lot to do with the court ruling last year allowing police to arrest about 20 members of the Hidden Valley Kings gang, if they associate with each other, carry guns, or recruit new members.

Since last September he said police have arrested nine of those gang members for violating the order.

"They're getting arrested just for getting together, just for being seen together walking down the street," said Harris.

Officers want a judge to put another order in place when this one expires Aug. 17.  Police said attorneys are studying the legality of the plan.

"That's their rights that we're having to make sure we're also adhering to," he said.

Officers said if another issue is ordered they want the names of more gang members added to it. They're hoping to hear back from their attorneys in the next few weeks.

If attorneys decide against it, Harris said officers will use policing techniques to keep things in line.

"If they haven't made a decision that we can have a new one by then, we're still going to know who these guys are we're still going to enforce laws we can enforce."