OAKLAND (KCBS)— Community members rallied at International Boulevard and 64th streets in Oakland Friday night for a march against violence.
A three-year-old was gunned down at that same location last summer.
Participants chanted and voiced their concerns to Mayor Jean Quan who has come under plenty of criticism over the past couple of months in her handling of the Occupy movement’s encampment, and what some call her failure to produce results in a plan to increase safety in a 100-block area of the city that Quan has called the city’s most violent blocks.
KCBS’ Mark Seelig Reports:
Oakland has endured the resignation of their chief of police in October, police layoffs and budget cuts, making it difficult for social programs and police protection to make a difference in the city’s rampant violence.
Community Organizer Towanda Sherry called Oakland a “wonderful, vibrant” place.
“We have the ability to change Oakland, it cannot continue on the course it is [on] now,” Sherry said.
She said the shooting death of one-year-old Hiram Lawrence on Friday after being pulled from life support was almost too hard to take.
The boy was shot during the making of a rap video in West Oakland on November 28th.
Oakland Interim Police Chief Howard Jordan said he wants to make the streets safer more than anyone.
“It’s going to take a lot more than just a march. It will take people getting involved in the neighborhood crime watch, being involved in neighborhood block committees,” Jordan said.
The group headed over to Greenleaf Elementary School for a community meeting where they questioned the mayor’s 100-block, anti-violence plan.
Mayor Quan has said her plan is almost ready for public consumption, but welcomes any input or scrutiny that will stop violence on the streets of Oakland.
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