OP-ED: Instead of Racial Profiling, City Needs Jobs and Family Support Services

Dan Siegel

Dan Siegel

A report released last week by the Oakland Police Department showed that African Americans were greatly overrepresented among people stopped by OPD from April through November 2013.

Although only 28 percent of Oakland’s population, African Americans were 62 percent of those stopped and 76 percent of those searched.

Among those stopped, Oakland police searched 42 percent of African Americans, 27 percent of Hispanics, and 17 percent of Asians and whites. However, those searches resulted in almost identical recovery rates of firearms, other weapons or drugs – 25 to 28 percent for each group.

Although African Americans were far more likely to be stopped and searched by Oakland police than other people, they were no more likely to be carrying contraband.

Surprisingly, Interim Police Chief Sean Whent defended the disparities, claiming that OPD was focusing on “the people committing the most crime.”

Chief Whent’s comment is confusing. His statistics show that when searches made incident to an arrest are excluded, 78 percent of the people stopped and searched had not committed any crime.

The futility of most OPD searches is consistent with the department’s record of solving crimes, just 30 percent of murder cases and smaller percentages of robberies, burglaries, and other crimes.

And when police search 2762 African Americans during an eight-month period without finding any contraband, it is not surprising that many people in the Black community are afraid and distrustful of the OPD.

S.F. Chronicle columnist Chip Johnson jumped to the chief’s defense, defending racial profiling by attempting to demonstrate that African Americans committed over 80 percent of the violent crimes in Oakland.

Johnson claims, “African Americans comprised 83 percent of the 12,161 suspects in last year’s homicides, attempted homicides, robberies, assaults with firearms and assaults with weapons other than firearms.”

But OPD’s reported crime statistics show a total of 7387 offenses in the categories mentioned by Johnson and do not include data on the races of the subjects.

Suggesting that police are justified in linking crime with race leads our society down a dangerous road. Oakland’s Black community includes over 100,000 people, and no one claims that more than a few percent commit violent crimes.

Racial profiling and strategies such as gang injunctions or youth curfews victimize entire populations and do little to solve crime. What’s more – they can lead to unnecessary use of force and even death. Eighteen-year-old Alan Blueford was profiled in this manner and ended up being shot to death.

Oakland needs a new approach. The strategy of “getting tough on crime” has tripled the number of state prisoners in the last 30 years but has not made our communities safer.

We need a comprehensive strategy that includes decentralizing and refocusing the police department to increase its ability to identify and arrest those who commit violent crime.

Department and city leadership must put a stop to police practices that alienate the department from the community and cost Oakland millions annually for judgments and settlements in police abuse cases.

Rather than focus on the race or ethnicity of those accused of committing crimes, we should be asking: “What percentage of those arrested are chronically unemployed? Failed to finish high school? Spent time in foster homes? Were victims of parental abuse? Grew up in homes with substance abuse?”

Once we answer those questions, we can identify those young people and others who are at risk of becoming involved in criminal activities and intervene.

We can direct city resources to provide the support that they, their families, and their communities need to help them overcome barriers to leading successful, productive lives.

Investments in counseling, mentorship programs, early childhood education, after-school programs, and job creation will help cure the problems that lead to criminal behavior and create a safer Oakland for everyone.

Dan Siegel is an Oakland civil rights attorney and a candidate for mayor.

Share Button
Print Friendly


  1. Hello fellow internet master! I truly enjoy your internet site! I liked the color of your sidebar.

  2. I just added this weblog to my rss reader, exceptional stuff. I like your writing style.

  3. I love reading by way of and I believe this site got some genuinely utilitarian stuff on it! .

  4. Regards for this marvellous post, I’m glad I observed this internet web site on yahoo.

  5. Emotional attention, self-control, approval, adhere to, patience but also security. These are typically among the issues that Tang Soo Can do, most with the Thai martial art attached to self defense purposes, can show buyers plus instilling in your soul the means not just to sustain with your own eyes on the competency on the really first real danger stains to cure confrontation all in all.

  6. You should participate in a contest for among the most effective blogs on the web. I will suggest this internet internet site!

  7. I’m often to blogging we in fact appreciate your posts. Your content has truly peaks my interest. I will bookmark your internet website and preserve checking for brand spanking new details.

  8. Can I recently say thats a relief to uncover somebody who really knows what theyre discussing on the internet. You undoubtedly discover how to bring a challenge to light and earn it essential. The diet need to read this and recognize this side on the story. I cant feel youre not far more popular as you certainly hold the gift.

  9. I discovered your weblog internet site site on google and appearance some of your early posts. Preserve up the wonderful operate. I just extra increase Feed to my MSN News Reader. Seeking for toward reading far much more by you later on!

  10. Seriously very very good contribution, I truly depend on up-dates of your stuff.

  11. I do not even know how I finished up appropriate here, nonetheless I believed this publish was good. I do not realize who you are but definitely that you are going to a well-known blogger when you might be not already Cheers!

  12. You can surely see your enthusiasm within the work you write. The earth hopes for more passionate writers like you who aren

  13. I am glad that it turned out so effectively and I hope it will continue in the future because it is so intriguing and meaningful to the community.

  14. Considerably, the submit is truly the finest on this worthy topic. I agree along with your findings and in addition can thirstily look forward to Your own long term updates. Basically just saying numerous thanks will not merely you need to have to be enough, for that great clarity inside your writing. I will straight away grab your rss to remain up-to-date with any kind of improvements. Genuine perform and also a lot success inside your company dealings!

  15. Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive read anything such as this before. So nice to get somebody with some original thoughts on this topic. realy we appreciate you starting this up. this fabulous website are some issues that is required on the internet, somebody with slightly originality. beneficial function for bringing a new challenge on the world wide internet!

  16. Hey, you used to write amazing, but the last couple of posts have been kinda boring?K I miss your fantastic writings. Past few posts are just a bit out of track! come on!

  17. building websites is not only fun, but it can also create an income for yourself;;

  18. You ought to experience a contest personally of the finest blogs on-line. I

  19. I would like to see much more posts like this!.. Wonderful weblog btw! reis Subscribed..

  20. This is a very good subject to speak about. Sometimes I fav stuff like this on Redit. This write-up probably wont do properly with that crowd. I will likely be positive to submit something else though.

  21. Some truly superb articles on this internet site , thankyou for contribution.

  22. This could be the correct weblog for everyone who is desires to be familiar with this subject. You already know significantly its practically not easy to argue along (not that I just would want

  23. Extremely intriguing points you’ve remarked, appreciate it for putting up.

  24. There is noticeably plenty of cash to comprehend this. I assume you made certain good points in functions also.

  25. It is actually a cool and valuable piece of details. I

  26. I like the beneficial info you give inside your articles. I

  27. Thankx so considerably for this! I havent been this thrilled by a post for a long period of time! Youve got it, whatever that means in blogging. Anyway, You are undoubtedly someone that has something to say that individuals want to hear. Maintain up the excellent job. Keep on inspiring the folks!

  28. There is noticeably big cash to recognize about this. I suppose you’ve got produced certain nice points in functions also.

  29. Um, think about adding pictures or much more spacing to your weblog entries to break up their chunky look.

  30. For some cause the picture just isn

  31. Good weblog! Only dilemma is i

  32. I am curious to discover out what weblog platform you happen to be making use of? I

  33. An intriguing dialogue is value comment. I believe that it is finest to write a lot more on this matter, it might not be a taboo subject but typically persons are not enough to speak on such topics. To the next. Cheers

  34. Can I just now say that of a relief to locate somebody who truly knows what theyre speaking about online. You truly know how to bring a difficulty to light and function out it crucial. The diet want to see this and appreciate this side on the story. I cant believe youre no far more popular since you surely possess the gift.

  35. I’m glad to be a visitor of this consummate web web site! , appreciate it for this rare information ! .

  36. thaibaccarat dot com is the greatest internet site to study casino games : like baccarat, poker, blackjack and roulette casino

  37. There is evidently a whole lot to know about this. I consider you made certain good points in capabilities also.

  38. There is noticeably a bundle comprehend this. I suppose you created specific nice points in functions also.

  39. Right after study some with the websites along with your internet website now, i actually as if your way of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back soon. Pls look at my site likewise and figure out what you believe.

  40. Do you mind if I quote a couple of your articles as long as I supply credit and sources back to your blog? My internet site is inside the extremely same region of interest as yours and my users would really benefit from a lot of the information you present here. Please let me know if this okay with you. Regards!

  41. I like this post, enjoyed this one thanks for posting .

  42. You completed certain very good points there. I did looking on the subject matter and identified most persons will go together with your weblog

  43. Hello. I wanted to ask 1 thing

  44. I appreciate you taking the time to speak about them with folks.

  45. You ought to experience a contest personally with the finest blogs on-line. I

  46. I wanted to pay a visit to and allow you to know how great I liked discovering your internet weblog today. I

  47. Wow, awesome blog structure! How long have you been running a weblog for? you made blogging look effortless. The total appear of your site is wonderful, let alone the content material material!

  48. It is rare for me to uncover something on the web that

  49. When I initially commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a remark is added I get four emails with exactly the same comment. Is there any manner you possibly can take away me from that service? Thanks!

  50. How a lot of an significant content, maintain on penning significant other

  51. that you are really a excellent webmaster. The web website loading velocity is wonderful. It seems that you are performing any special trick. Furthermore, The contents are masterpiece. you

  52. I was curious in the event you ever considered changing the page layout of your blog? Its extremely well written; I enjoy what youve got to say. But maybe you can a bit much more within the way of content so folks could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or two pictures. Maybe you could space it out better?

  53. Hey, very good morning. Intriguing post. You’ve gained a new reader. Pleasee maintain up the great work and I look forward to much more of your brilliant articles. God bless, .

  54. I like the valuable info you offer in your articles. I

  55. I totally enjoy your blog and locate a great deal of your post

  56. Cheers for this excellent. I was wondering in the event you were thining of writing similar posts to this 1. .Keep up the fantastic articles!

  57. Merely a smiling visitor here to share the really like (:, btw wonderful pattern .

  58. You’ll find definitely quite lots of particulars like that to take into consideration. That might be a terrific point to bring up. I supply the concepts above as normal inspiration nonetheless clearly you will find questions like the one you deliver up exactly where a very powerful thing shall be working in sincere excellent faith. I don?t know if best practices have emerged round issues like that, nevertheless I’m positive that your job is clearly recognized as a fair game. Each girls and boys genuinely feel the affect of only a moment

  59. I am fascinated this informative article. There are so several issues mentioned here I had never thought of before. You’ve made me realize there is much more than 1 approach to think about these things.

  60. Far more often than not, when you use service search terms these firms specialize in jobs appointing during my realm possibly function about my local area. Nothing at all is nope during this. Truthfully, near painful global financial eras travelers needs to be tiny bit far much more powerful utilizing a assignment shop. Whenever you want to contemplate it, the reason that most guys need a purpose in the geographic location is really easiness. It really is somewhat convenient to work almost domestic since it will reduce issues, strains, but also dollars created by transportation. Prospect that are searhing for activities retaining during my domain is because surely is nifty to remain dear to home assuming any type of critical internal crisis rears its ugly head. This is surely to tell you practically of the classic benefits caught up once you have young children.

  61. You can find various agencies which deals with evidences located at a crime scene. Police use it for investigation, prosecuting attorney presents it before court of law as properly as a forensic science technician analyzes evidences thoroughly to assist other agencies in criminal procedure. A forensic science technician conducts comprehensive chemical and physical study of evidence submitted by a law enforcement agency

  62. Awesome read , I’m going to spend a lot more time learning about this subject

  63. Suffice to say, regardless of how sound which you utilizing treating any kind of a platform, ultimately you’ll be able to discover an example in places require a quantity of tutorial holding; and as effectively topic to how old that you are abilities, employing the body-weight of ones own caravan it may be a some what strenuous punch. motor movers

  64. I like this weblog so significantly, saved to fav.

  65. All you need to know about News information to you.

  66. Pretty section of content. I just stumbled upon your website and in accession capital to assert that I get in fact enjoyed account your blog posts. Any way I

  67. Quite fascinating topic , regards for putting up.

  68. I like this weblog so significantly, saved to my bookmarks .

  69. excellent . Thanks for informations . Ill be back. Thanks once more

  70. A lot of thanks I ought say, impressed along with your site. I will post this to my facebook wall.

  71. Completely pent topic matter, appreciate it for selective info .

Post a comment

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *