Bushrod Neighborhood Seeks Cease Fire in Retaliation War
on June 10, 2009
Summer may not bring heat to the weather in North Oakland, but it’s bringing heat to the streets.
A relation “war” between youth in southwest Berkeley and North Oakland was blamed Tuesday night for an ongoing spike in street violence in North Oakland.
Members of the Shattuck neighborhood Crime Prevention Council tried at their monthly meeting to come up with action oriented items for residents to help stop the violence.
The retaliations are believed to have started on May 8th when a person was shot and killed on the 5300 block of Martin Luther King Avenue. Another person was shot and killed in West Berkeley on May16th followed by two more victims after a car chase and crash at Martin Luther King and Aileen. On May 17th two people were injured in automatic weapon fire at 53rd and Dover Street.
Problem solving officer Mike Muñoz gave residents tips on how they can do their part to reduce the likelihood of retaliation skirmishes by being on the look out for excessive loitering (groups of 20 or more), people huddled together shooting dice or other gaming activities, vehicles with occupants seated inside and no driver and unoccupied vehicles with a key still in the ignition.
Instances of vehicles in which passengers are simply sitting in a car without a driver appear to be more prevalent on Martin Luther King Avenue between Children’s Hospital and 55th Street, according to Muñoz.
Residents who live on Dover Street are encouraged to report vehicles speeding down the street because police said criminals often use Dover as a thoroughfare. Dover Street runs parallel to Martin Luther King Avenue and gives easy access to 52nd Street and high way on ramps.
Muñoz asked residents who make reports to take special note of what suspicious persons may be wearing like memorial t-shirts.
Muñoz is one of 50 problem solving officers in the Oakland Police Department who are dedicated to working with residents to pinpoint and fix issues in their neighborhood. Problem Solving Officers often work in tandem with a Neighborhood Services Coordinator from the city who also attends the Neighborhood Crime Prevention Council meetings and educate residents on how to collaborate with city officials to get their needs met.
When reporting suspicious cars it helps to give highly detailed descriptions like decals, unusual paint colors or decorative tires. Muñoz said gang affiliations could be spotted on the back window.
These details help the police officers that are dispatched to efficiently pinpoint the persons or vehicles that they seek.
Residents are encouraged to call 510-777-3333 to report suspicious activity they believe may be connected to the retaliation killings.
Call 238-DRUG to report drug related activity.
The Shattuck Neighborhood Council has a hotline where residents can report problem spots or suspicious activity that will be documented and shared with the PSO and other officers that patrol in the area.
The hotline can be reached by calling 510-655-6122 or sending an e-mail to cpbeat11X@aol.com.
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