OAKLAND (CBS SF) — The Oakland Police Officers Association on Tuesday said that the city tallied its 100th murder victim in a single year for the first time since 2012, despite concerted efforts by police to stem the rising tide of street violence.
The Oakland Police Officers Association released a statement regarding the grim milestone that, according to FBI crime reporting, that the city “suffered murder #100 for the year” after one person was killed and two others wounded Monday evening in an East Oakland shooting.READ MORE: Update: One Killed, Two Injured When Truck Crashes Into Diners at San Jose Sports Bar
In a separate incident early Monday, an 8-year-old boy watching television at a relative’s East Oakland apartment was wounded in the leg by a stray bullet.
The OPOA announcement noted that 2012 was the last year Oakland surpassed 100 murders and stated that 2020 “has seen a 63% increase year-over-year in shootings and murders in Oakland.”
The police officers union later clarified to KPIX 5 that Oakland was currently at 100 murders and 107 homicides total.
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The Oakland POA announcement called out the city’s elected officials for not doing enough to stop the increase in street violence.
President of the Oakland Police Officers Association Barry Donelan said city leadership needs to step up.
“Get engaged. Be collaborative on a crime plan. Support the officers, support members of the community, the victims in our society that we’re out here trying to help everyday instead of sitting behind your Zoom computer,” said Donelan.
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf released a statement of her own in response.
“Every life lost is a tragedy that rocks our community with grief. Our community worked too hard to cut gun violence in half and we cannot backslide towards the trauma of that era ever again,” Schaaf’s statement read. “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.”
District 5 city councilmember Noel Gallo, who represents Fruitvale, says he is worried about the rise in violence, about complacency and about 100 murders a year feeling normal again.READ MORE: 'In the Heights' Delights at First Pride Movie Night at Oracle Park
“I see more people involved in more stupid things that I haven’t seen in many, many years,” Gallo told KPIX 5 during a Zoom interview. He also said there is a fine needle to thread with neighbors and businesses about police presence that even he runs into.
“My small businesses complain about what’s going on on the street, but then I ask the police to come walk and be on their motorcycle and then within an hour, they’re complaining to me again saying, ‘Why did you bring the police? Because they’re scaring away all the customers,'” explained Gallo.
Oakland police officials have said the department is striving to reduce violence in the city, including through the “OPD CARES” initiative that has increased the number of officers patrolling on foot, in cars and on dual-purpose motorcycles and bicycles to bolster safety.
“The traumatic impact violence is having on our community is sort of a double whammy,” Interim Oakland Police Chief Susan Mannheimer said in early October when addressing the rise in violence. “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.”
Some Oakland residents have suggested cabin fever due to the pandemic is getting the best of some of their young neighbors.
“Everybody had to stay inside and then when they come out, they’re overanxious,” explained Oakland’s Brenda Delavallade.
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 they are also working with federal agencies including the FBI to try to reduce the violence.MORE NEWS: COVID Reopening: Napa County Toasts Return Of Visitors, Business Close To Normal Levels
Andria Borba contributed to this story.