County sues Elgin gang members so they don't hang out with each other
The Kane County state's attorney's office has sued 16 members of an Elgin gang to keep them from congregating and communicating with each other.
This is the fourth such lawsuit, and the third concerning Elgin gangs, that prosecutors have filed since 2010. Elgin police are participating, too.
State's Attorney Joe McMahon said prior lawsuits have been effective. They are actions that can be taken "to take a bite out of gang activity to make our streets safer for law-abiding citizens, and also to drive these criminal gangs out of our communities."
Other, similar lawsuits were filed in September 2010, May 2012 and June 2013. Each lawsuit was filed under a state law aimed at keeping gang members from communicating and meeting with each other.
Each one of the 16 defendants was convicted of a crime in which part of the sentence was to not have any contact with specific gang members and gang members in general, McMahon said.
"The gang members named in this suit have continued to engage in criminal activity despite opportunities to reject the gang lifestyle," he said. "This lawsuit is a message from the citizens of Kane County that gangs and gang activity are not wanted and are not part of our diverse community."
The 16 defendants were served with the lawsuits beginning on Friday; they are due in court on July 5. If they fail to show up, warrants may be issued for their arrest.