24 hours, 12 shootings, 10 injured, 3 dead.
Oakland has become a war zone, a modern day battlefield where children are toting guns instead of books. Crimes primarily done in the dark are now happening in the light and seems like nothing is being done to stop it.
Last Saturday afternoon, a man shot up a barbershop in downtown Oakland, moments after being caught breaking into a customer’s car and trying to steal her purse. Four people were wounded but expected to survive. Hours later, a woman was shot and killed in front of her boyfriend and 5-year old son, after a gunman walked up and fired numerous shots at the car.
Both shootings came less than 24 hours after gun fire erupted at an East Oakland party Friday night; two men were killed.
Friday’s shootings came just hours after mourners filed into Fuller Funerals to pay respects to 16-month-old Drew Jackson. Jackson was sleep with his father, Andrew Thomas, when a gunman fired shots through a bedroom window killing them both.
This double homicide was just days after Alaysha Carradine, 8, was laid to rest after being shot and killed at a friend’s sleep over.
Over the weekend, a video surfaced of another shooting happening in broad day light. While no injuries were reported, the young man walking right pass the gunfire, unaffected by what was happening, dismayed many that watched the video.
Community members question the crime-prevention efforts of the Oakland Police Department (OPD) but more are concerned about the lack of leadership shown by Mayor Jean Quan.
Dominique Bobineaux, the aunt of the slain 16-month old, does not feel Mayor Quan understands the effects the violence is having on families and communities. In a Facebook post, she claims Mayor Quan was inattentive at the babies funeral services.
“Big shout out to Mayor Jean Quan of Oakland for falling asleep in the funeral,” she wrote. “[and thanks]for her support and kind words she DID NOT offer our family.”
Mayor Quan and OPD Chief Sean Whent have met in recent weeks to discuss the implementation of Ceasefire throughout the city but is that enough? According to Councilwoman Brooks, Ceasefire only represents a strategy and not a comprehensive crime reduction plan.
She says OPD’s lack of “proactive enforcement” is the problem. The Mayor needs to get a permanent chief, someone like Ron Davis, an expert on racial profiling and who is recognized for his community building enforcement, Brooks added.
“We need to be vocal with the Mayor and City Administrator that we want a competent Police Chief,” said Brooks. “If we are silent, then it means we are ok with the status quo. Demand that they explain their plan and then let’s hold them accountable.”
So what is Mayor Quan’s plan? What is she doing to help Oakland streets become safer for residents? Is she afraid to say something or has the upcoming election taken priority over the safety of Oakland residents?
Sean Maher, Communications Director for Mayor Quan, was contacted numerous times for comment from the Mayor but did not return a call.