Quan Wants Occupy Oakland Out After Killing Near Encampment

OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Oakland Mayor Jean Quan called on “Occupy Oakland” to voluntarily dismantle their encampment after a man in his early 20s was fatally shot in Frank Ogawa Plaza Thursday night.

Though protesters say the shooting was not related to the encampment and police have said there is no apparent connection between the two, the mayor said in a statement Thursday night that this kind of violence is unacceptable either way.

Quan said that the Police Department’s resources need to return to addressing violence and said that tonight’s homicide “underscores the reasons why the encampment must end.”

“Camping is a tactic, not a solution,” Quan said in a statement.

She asked that the campers voluntarily leave and said that the city has sent outreach workers and made beds available at shelters to provide for the homeless.

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan said the victim was pronounced dead at a local hospital Thursday evening, less than two hours after two groups of men got into a fight near the Occupy Oakland camp on a plaza near City Hall.

Jordan asked members of the public participating in the protest who may have taken photographs or video that captured the shooting to contact authorities.

Officers responded at 4:57 p.m. to the shooting at 14th Street and Broadway, directly in front of the protesters’ encampment, although at this time there is no apparent connection between the shooting and the demonstration, police spokeswoman Johnna Watson said.

KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:

“At this time it does not appear to be related,” Watson said, but added that the shooting is still under investigation.

Watson said no suspects are in custody and the victim had not been identified as of 7:30 p.m.

The shooting occurred outside a Tully’s coffee shop directly in front of the protesters’ encampment. Police blocked off the area as officers investigated.

A crowd gathered around the victim after the shooting, and the victim was then taken away in an ambulance. Police were interviewing witnesses and trying to contain a crowd of protesters who had tried to prevent television cameramen from taking video.

Nyake Tarmoh, 31, a protester with the Occupy Oakland movement, said he witnessed the shooting while standing in line at the camp’s food tent.

Tarmoh said he saw six suspicious-looking males, between the ages of 15 and 22, walking around the camp and they appeared to be looking for someone.

The suspects spotted the victim standing near portable toilets and they ran over, punched him and beat him while he was on the ground, according to Tarmoh.

Tarmoh said the suspects became aware of the fact that some Occupy Oakland members were watching and stopped.

The victim got up and was running away from the suspects when one male with dreadlocks and a black hooded sweatshirt pulled out a gun and shot him in the head, according to Tarmoh.

Tarmoh said he saw two of the suspect run into a BART station, while the shooter ran down Broadway.

He said camp medics rushed to give the victim first-aid before an ambulance arrived and took him to a hospital.

Tarmoh also stressed that the shooting was not related to the encampment. “They are not part of the Oakland movement,” he said.

Occupy Oakland members had been planning to hold a party Thursday night to celebrate its one-month anniversary but have decided to cancel the festivities out of respect for the victim, protesters said.

Barucha Peller, who is part of the Occupy Oakland encampment, said some of the first people to help the victim were medics from the camp.

She said the shooting happened next to the camp, not in it.

“The only direct Occupy Oakland involvement was in order to provide emergency first-aid services,” she said.

Drew Sowyrda was driving west on Telegraph Avenue on his way to the gym when, as he was passing 27th Street, he saw “cop cars driving faster than I’ve ever seen through the traffic.”

“Right at the junction of Broadway and Telegraph they stopped a white car and pulled out the driver at gunpoint,” Sowyrda said.

He said the male driver was handcuffed and put into a police car, and he overheard police explaining to two female passengers in the car that there had been a shooting.

He said they began to block off Broadway at that point.

BART spokesman Jim Allison said the 12th Street station in Oakland was temporarily closed as police searched two trains for possible suspects.

Some people ran into the station after the shooting and it was initially believed that they were suspects, Allison said.

However, officials have since determined that those people were “probably just frightened” and wanted to get away, he said.

The station reopened around 5:25 p.m. BART is experiencing system-wide delays due to the police activity and earlier equipment problem on the track.

Several city officials showed up at the scene after the shooting, including Police Chief Jordan and City Council President Larry Reid, who was among council members who held a news conference Wednesday saying the encampment must go.

After learning that Occupy Oakland medics had helped the person who was shot Thursday, Reid said, “I appreciate their efforts to help save the life of the victim in this situation.”

Although many at the scene insist the shooting wasn’t related to the encampment, Reid said it should be part of the larger conversation about the camp.

“I think it puts us in a position of having to look at this problem in a more comprehensive manner,” he said, saying that there were knife fights on 14th Street earlier this week.

Early Thursday afternoon, Mayor Jean Quan said that a plan to remove the encampment “has to be done thoughtfully” and “has to take time.”

Quan said she wants to “continue dialogue” with protesters who have been in Frank Ogaza Plaza for a month before the city takes any action.

Chief Jordan told reporters earlier today that, “I’m not at liberty to announce if and when we’ll take any action” to remove protesters from the plaza.

City Councilman Ignacio De La Fuente, one of the members urging the immediate removal of the encampment, said, “We’re waiting for the mayor and her administration to deal with the situation but it gets worse and worse every day.”

De La Fuente said he thinks the longer the protesters are allowed to stay at the plaza the harder it will be to remove them.

“More and more people are camping out in the plaza, not less,” he said.

On Wednesday, one protester said, the city turned off lights in the part of the plaza that contains the encampment.

The lights were still out Thursday night and a number of protesters at the crime scene yelled, “Turn the lights on,” saying that the darkness leads to more crime.

Others lit candles all around the scene of the shooting, and one man sat cross-legged and meditating near the police tape.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments

One Comment

  1. Toby says:

    Well, that did it.

  2. Philip Scharfy says:

    History has shown that the occuoy-types typically prefer bombs to guns.

    That being said, How many folks have been murdered at Tea Party gatherings?

  3. Oakland Taxpayer says:

    Well mayor and council, what’a’ya’ thinkin’ plann’ now? You’ve turned Oakland into the “wild west.” Surely this will encourage law abiding spenders to visit downtown? And the taxpayer, we’ll we’re the monetary sponsors of this “Occupy Wall street” to morph to “Occupy Oakland” to now morph to the “Wild West” show now premiering in Oakland. So do we tell visitors to downtown to pack a six-shooter or a wallet?

  4. Yo says:

    A shooting at Oscar Grant Plaza?

  5. dbarco says:

    Hey!!! The victim was black!! Where is John Burris? The Mayor sounded pathetic on TV pleading with the folks to leave. Perfect example of the over-
    permissive society and why she now has painted herself into a corner.
    Do the SARAH PALIN thing, quit and go out on the lecture circuit!!!
    Your people have deserted you!!!! I am talking about all of her activist friends.

  6. NATIONAL GUARD....CALLING THE NATIONAL GUARD.. says:

    WHEN IS THE NATIONAL GUARD GOING TO BREAK UP THIS PROTEST AND SAVE WHAT’S LEFT OF OAKLAND?

    THESE OUT OF TOWN, OCCUPIER RICH WHITE KIDS NEED TO PACK UP AND GO BACK HOME TO PLEASTON OR MARIN. THEY’RE BRAINS ARE NOT FULLY DEVELOPED YET, SO THEY NEED TO BE TAUGHT A LESSON THROUGH HARD DISCIPLINE BY BEING SENT TO JAIL FOR DESTRUCTION OF PUBLIC PROPERTY. STUPID RICH WHITE KIDS WHO HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THEIR LIVES EXCEPT CRY “GIVE ME, GIVE ME, GIVE ME.”

    THESE OCCUPY PROTESTS HAVE RUNNED ITS COURSE AND AMERICANS ARE BECOMING INCREASINGLY TIRED OF THIS OCCUPY MOVEMENT. THE MESSAGE IS STARTING TO BECOME PERFECTLY CLEAR: SEND THE NATIONAL GUARD IN AND END THESE PROTESTS, ONCE AND FOR ALL.

    1. NATIONAL GUARD....CALLING THE NATIONAL GUARD.. says:

      PLEASANTON**

  7. rob says:

    The message from Mayor Quan to the Occupy group…Leave voluntarily if not i will just ask you to leave again and again and again ……

  8. christy says:

    wow… are these comments for real? what part of the article did you not read? the shooting and the protest were unrelated. the only way occupy oakland was involved is a) their medics were the first people to make it to the victim, and b) it’s lucky they were all there, since the police chief can now ask if any of them were witnesses.

    i have a friend who attended occupy oakland during the general strike on nov 2. she said she had an amazing day interacting with people from all walks of life. after the left the encampment and was walking backing to her car that night, she witnessed an altercation between some men on the street who were not part of occupy oakland, during which a gun was fired. this was after she had LEFT the protest and was some distance away.

    occupy oakland is doing more to address issues of poverty and homelessness than our government– or financial institutions, for that matter– have done in a long time. the long term effect, if the occupy movement is successful, would be an improvement in living standards for everyone, a reduction in poverty, and a renewed culture of respect. i think we can all agree that that would do more to make downtown oakland safer than sending in the oakland police and the national guard combined.

    1. Reality Check says:

      If you did read the story then it would seem you lack reading comprehension. The person who was standing in line for food saw the group attack the victim. The victim was hanging out near the toilets, sort of an odd place but, hey whatever, then as the victim is running away the group fires the shot. This all took place at the camp. The group that came into the camp may not have been a part of the camp, but they sure involved it. Trying to say this is completely unrelated is idiotic.

      1. wiseold snail says:

        first of all, much of the content in this report by lyles is untrue. there was no ‘melee.’ he came, as many press people do, charging into an already formed safety line in his attempt to get a scoop. news vans were parked blocking emergency access to the plaza, while we’ve maintained access according to the fire chief’s requests.
        robert lyles likes to inflame reality by doing things such as suggesting ‘out of control’ when, in fact, the whole rest of the evening was a study in peaceful gathering to honor a slain young man. we put aside our celebrations and spent the evening bonding, in a very real and personal way, with complete strangers, strengthening our commitment to continue forward in attempts to address not only the symptoms of our social ills, but the causes.

    2. Mark D. says:

      Just what exactly have these protesters done to address poverty and other social issues??? They stand in a camp and repeat what each other says like a bunch of automatons. They have not changed a damn thing. They have placed a drain on the city and cost business. This has in effect made it so there is less money for social programs. So they are not helping their own cause, they are destroying their own cause by making sure any excess funds are used for police overtime and not for the poor. It is time for these idiots to go back to their dreary lives and let this city alone.

    3. mbs says:

      Well, Occupy Oakland is doing a good job of preventing other people from earning a living, and vandalizing businesses that are trying to provide jobs, so I guess in that way, they are addressing the issues of poverty and homelessness, in the sense that they are increasing it.

  9. christy says:

    it would also be great if people could not make over-inflated, inflammatory statements about nonviolent protesters having an affinity for weapons. you’re just dragging the conversation down when that happens. thanks.

  10. tn says:

    Just waiting for the other shoe to drop- John Burris to the scene! He’ll probably represent the family of the shot-to-the-head victim because,…… oh, the police didn’t do their jobs protecting and serving the public! Yes, and…oh, it’s Mayor Quan and her Board of Supvs should’ve known to provide “enough” police to address the situation!- otherwise the dead dude might have lived; That, this crime would not have happened because criminals know there aren’t enough policemen (and women) in the area. Another $1,000,000 settlement underway, paid for by you and me. What a circus.

  11. mbs says:

    How is it not related to the encampment, when the fight started in the camp, a place where there is no legal authority, cops are afraid to enter for fear of causing riots, and the victim was chased through the camp? I think that makes it related.

  12. dbarco says:

    CHRISTY is a bimbo!! These folks don’t care about democracy! They shout down the representatves of the city (that’s the citizens) and the police chief.
    They are making Oakland even more unwelcoming than it already is.
    On top of all that the “activist” mayor and the dysfunctional city council can’t get their job responsibilities straight. Leaders need to make tough choices!!!

    1. wiseold snail says:

      wow, how very adult of you to call someone you’ve never met ‘bimbo.’ that really adds to your appeal and credibility

  13. Oakland Taxpayer says:

    So he was an outsider (Richmond) and occupier…please allow me to repost::

    Well mayor and council, what’a’ya’ thinkin’ plann’ now? You’ve turned Oakland into the “Wild West.” Surely this will encourage law abiding spenders to visit downtown? And the taxpayer, we’re the monetary sponsors of this “Occupy Wall Street” to morph to “Occupy Oakland” to now morph to the “Wild West” show now premiering in Oakland. So do we tell visitors to downtown to pack a six-shooter or a wallet?

    Let me add…until your “Wild West” show ends, we’ll by pass shopping in downtown since I pack a wallet and not a six-shooter.

  14. Ervin Kosch says:

    She was warned so many times that would turn violent and that rapes were happening. The only time she wanted to do something was when some died. That blood on your hands mayor.

  15. wiseold snail says:

    first of all, much of the content in this report by lyles is untrue. there was no ‘melee.’ he came, as many press people do, charging into an already formed safety line in his attempt to get a scoop. he attempted to charge directly through my body, lined up with others, in this effort, then screamed at me for pushing him, which i did not do. we made clear access for emergency services and police. he tried to breach that line. we cooperated with police, he didn’t.
    news vans were parked blocking emergency access to the plaza, while we’ve maintained access according to the fire chief’s requests.
    robert lyles likes to inflame reality by doing things such as suggesting ‘out of control’ when, in fact, the whole rest of the evening was a study in peaceful gathering to honor a slain young man. we put aside our celebrations and spent the evening bonding, in a very real and personal way, with complete strangers, strengthening our commitment to continue forward in attempts to address not only the symptoms of our social ills, but the causes.

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