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Metro changes policy on gangs after community backlash

Reported by: Venise Toussaint
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Updated: 6/03 11:32 pm

LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNEWS3) -- Metro police moved away from a controversial gang policy after complaints from community leaders and civil rights organizations.

The department says its new policy will help tackle the valley’s gang problem and allow suspected gang members to have more legal rights.

Imagine being classified as a gang member or being put into a gang database without your knowledge. That is what happened under the Metro police department’s old gang policy.

Metro's new policy now calls for notifying people who are on the list and allowing them to appeal or refute gang affiliation.

The policy change comes after several meetings between the metro police department, the American Civil Liberties Union and the District Attorney’s office.

Under the new policy Metro, adults placed on the gang database will be notified by mail of their status. Minors on the list will get a home visit from a gang officer, who will speak to a parent or guardian, and the minor will have the opportunity to appeal.

Metro police say the new policy will help limit the number of people who may be mistakenly identified as gang members and help them reduce juvenile gang activity.

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