OGDEN -- It's easy to stand up for one's own rights, but what about the rights of others, especially those who may live a gang lifestyle?
That's the question David Reymann, attorney from the law firm Parr, Brown, Gee & Loveless, asked Weber State University students during a presentation Wednesday as part of the American Democracy Project.
Both Reymann and Darcy Goddard, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah, spoke about the issues involving Ogden's Trece gang injunction during their remarks under the title "Constitutional Rights in the Balance: Ogden's Gang Injunction."
Modeled after similar injunctions in California, but a first for Utah, the injunction has been in effect since September against Ogden's oldest street gang.
Both Reymann and Goddard have argued against the controversial injunction, saying it infringes on the basic civil rights that every American has, even if that citizen is a gang member.
The injunction survived an initial challenge in October before the Utah Supreme Court from Reymann in conjunction with the ACLU and Trece lawyers.
Both sides expect it will end up before the high court again.
"The idea that you can identify a group of people and label them as a public nuisance is a dangerous idea," Reymann told the group of about 70 students and community leaders.
The injunction limits the amount of public contact Trece gang members can have with one another and imposes an 11 p.m. curfew. They can't possess a gun or graffiti materials such as spray paint.
"It's pretty stunning, all of the things that are prohibited," Reymann said.
Weber County Attorney Dee Smith, the principal author of the 331-page injunction, did not attend the seminar, but he was moved to comment afterward on Goddard's claim that increasing the number of names in the Ogden-Metro Gang Task Force's database of gang members increases the size of the task force's federal grant.
"That is absolutely incorrect," he said. "It doesn't operate that way at all."
Those who are identified by police as Trece members are served a written copy of the injunction, and if they violate it, they can be arrested and charged with a class B misdemeanor.
Reymann said they took issue with this, because once an arrest was made, police could then search someone even though they may not have a warrant or probable cause.
Many of the questions after the presentation concerned how someone is identified as a gang member and how the injunction would possibly be beneficial.
Goddard responded, saying upholding the law should be sufficient, without imposing other restrictions such as an injunction.
"In our opinion, it is and should be sufficient to enforce criminal laws as they are in the books," she said.
WSU junior Steve Hansen said he attended the presentation as an assignment for his political science class and felt it was informative.
He hadn't, however, formed a solid opinion on whether the injunction violated civil rights or was a positive way to fight crime.
"The police have the right to protect us, but people have their rights to protect," he said. "It's hard to know."
Police Lt. Scott Conley, who oversees the Ogden gang unit, was in the audience during the presentation. He said it was interesting to hear the points made by the ACLU and Reymann, but noted that there was no one in support of the injunction as part of the presentation.
Conley also said he felt as if Goddard and Reymann alluded several times to racial profiling by police, which he said is simply not the case with the injunction, because the Trece gang is a multiracial group.
Also attending, but not commenting, were Deputy Weber County Attorneys Chris Allred and Branden Miles, who have pressed the injunction in court hearings along with Smith.
Standard-Examiner reporter Tim Gurrister contributed to this article.