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Name: People v. Daniel G.
Case #: B167064
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 8
Opinion Date: 07/16/2004

Appellant, a minor, appealed from a juvenile court order determining him a ward after finding that he possessed an assault weapon (Penal Code section 12280) and that he loitered with the intent to publicize a street gang (LA County Code section 13.44.010). The facts supporting the loitering petition were that a police officer saw the minor standing on a sidewalk in the company of MAGC gang members who were known for engaging in drug sales and intimidating people in the neighborhood. Police officers told the minor to leave, but he had not done so after 20 minutes. At a contested hearing on the petition, the officer testified he was on routine patrol and had not seen the minor sell drugs. The minor was standing and talking to another gang member. The officer said that in his experience, standing and talking to a MAGC gang member is so intimidating to people in the neighborhood that they are afraid to leave their homes. The appellate court here reversed the conviction based on insufficient evidence. The testimony showed only that the minor was a gang member and was talking to another gang member. The fact that the MAGC had intimidated people in the past did not mean that the minor shared their intent on that occasion. There was no evidence that the minor was dressed in gang attire, threw signs, or otherwise demonstrated his affiliation. There was, however, sufficient evidence that the minor should have known that the weapon he possessed was a prohibited assault rifle.