OAKLAND (KPIX) — City leaders and community members in Oakland gathered Sunday evening in response to the protests and violence this past week in the Bay Area.
Dozens came to Beebe Memorial Cathedral to find hope from what Dr. Charley Hames says is widespread pessimism and outrage in the African American community over racial stereotyping and police violence.
“Many … I’ve talked to say [the Ferguson killing and demonstrations] reminds them of the days of the 1960s they lived through. They thought they wouldn’t have to live through another day like this,” Dr. Hames said.
At Sunday night’s vigil, city and community leaders called for change.
“There’s one thing that is so clear, is that we as a nation have much work to do. The anger in this nation is for a reason so we have much work to do,” said Oakland mayor-elect Libby Schaaf. “But I’m very proud that I believe we will do it in Oakland.”
Gabriel Laverne said he is frequently a victim of racial profiling.
“I want my fellow friends to walk wherever they go and feel safe and feel like they aren’t a problem,” Laverne said.
The organizers of the vigil say they hope to get community, city and police leaders together for an open discussion about racism.
A grand jury decision not to indict former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson set off protest in Oakland, San Francisco and Los Angeles last week that turned violent.