OAKLAND (KCBS) – With two weeks before the next First Friday event in downtown Oakland, city leaders have been working with event organizers to try to hammer out changes, this after an 18-year-old was shot and killed in early February.
At a news conference on Thursday, the Oakland Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) urged city leaders not to cancel public events like First Friday.
Instead, NAACP Oakland Branch President George Holland is calling on his community to stand up and fight back, to stop remaining silent in the face of violence and to reach out to youth.
“To teach them to respect the rights of others. Community events should occur and if you don’t wish to participate, don’t attend,” Holland said. “But do not go there with the intent of disrupting for everyone else. We’re saying that do not discontinue First Fridays or any public events here in Oakland because of these incidents of violence.”
18-year-old Kiante Campbell was killed at the conclusion of the First Friday event on February 1. Three others were injured in the shooting, which occurred at 20th Street and Telegraph Avenue.
19-year-old Donald Parks Jr. was arrested in the shooting and has been charged with six counts of assault with a semi-automatic firearm and one count each of carrying a concealed weapon and carrying a loaded firearm. However, the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office didn’t file murder charges against the suspect for the shooting of Campbell because the office decided to charge “only what we can prove with the evidence we have.”
A funeral service will be held for Campbell at the Chapel of the Chimes on Friday.
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