In Landmark Settlement of LA Graffiti Suit, Taggers Are Treated Like Gang Members
Posted Jun 20, 2012 5:36 PM CDT
By Martha Neil
Although alleged members of the Metro Transit Assassins lost a First Amendment argument, made with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, against an unusual suit (PDF) brought by the city of Los Angeles, a settlement announced Wednesday spared them millions of dollars in claimed damages from graffiti tagging activities.
So long as the eight defendants refrain from further "graffiti vandalism" and perform 100 hours of graffiti removal, the city won't seek to hold them financially accountable for its costs, the Los Angeles Times' L.A. Now blog reports.
Initially, the city had sought $4.9 million in claimed damages and penalties as well as a court order prohibiting the defendants from profiting from the sale of related art.
Nonetheless, the landmark settlement is a forward advance for the city, because it treats taggers like gang members in the sanctions it imposes, following a judge's ruling that the constitution "does not protect destruction of public or private property by graffiti vandalism, trespass and illegal activities."
The settlement requires the defendants not to associate publicly with fellow members of their tagging crew and obey an adult curfew.
A LA Weekly story provides further details.
ABAJournal.com: "As Graffiti Artist Wins Mainstream Success, DA Seeks Injunction Barring Any Profit From His Tag"