OAKLAND (CBS SF) — An outbreak of deadly violence this year on the streets of Oakland claimed its 75th victim over the weekend, equaling the number of homicides for all of 2019 and intensifying a war of words between local officials and the Oakland Police Officers Association.
Over the last decade, the number of homicides in Oakland have dropped significantly. Down from a peak of 126 murders in 2011, there was an increase year-to-year last year, with a total of 75 homicides.
But in a six-day span last week, there were eight homicides in the city. The latest came on late Friday night in East Oakland.
Investigators said the shooting was reported at 11:22 p.m. in the 2100 block of MacArthur Boulevard. Arriving officers found a man suffering from gunshot wounds. Firefighters and paramedics provided medical aid but the man died.
Anyone with information about the killing is asked to call the Police Department’s homicide unit at (510) 238-3821 or the tip line at (510) 238-7950.
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf called the deaths “a tragedy that rocks our community with grief” in a statement released Monday.
“Every life lost is a tragedy that rocks our community with grief,” Schaaf said. “Our community worked too hard to cut gun violence in half and we cannot backslide towards the trauma of that era ever again. We are doubling down with our violence prevention teams and with our law enforcement partners to save every precious life in Oakland and end the violence now.”
Meanwhile, Oakland Police Officers’ Association President Barry Donelan was critical of City Hall.
“A dramatic increase in violent crime has been met with deafening silence from City Hall,” Donelan said. “Many of Oakland’s elected officials are ignoring the tidal wave of bloodshed, murder, and violence that their citizens and the police officers are experiencing daily.”
According the police officers association, crime statistics show a 45% increase year-over-year in shootings and murders in Oakland. There were 15 murders in September alone.
This level of violent crime with almost three months left in 2020 puts Oakland on pace for a potential decade high number of annual murders,” OPOA officials said in a release.
“Oakland Police Officers are hard at work trying to stem the bloodshed, fight crime and serve our community, all amid a pandemic,” OPOA officials continued. “In doing their part, Oakland Police officers have taken over 700 guns off the street and responded to over 300
shootings this year.”
Last week, Interim Oakland Police Chief Susan Mannheimer said “the traumatic impact violence is having on our community is sort of a double whammy.”
“It is the same community that is experiencing the highest levels in crimes of violence and gunfire as are being hit so hard with the COVID-19 disease and pandemic,” she said.
Mannheimer said some prison inmates who were released early because of COVID-19 are back in the neighborhood without the appropriate resources to help them re-settle. Also, gang rivalries are rekindling, she said.
“We have seen an uptick in the ongoing feud between groups and gangs around territory,” she said.
Police said along with increasing patrols in areas near shooting scenes, they are also working with federal agencies including the FBI to try to reduce the violence.