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Backyard deer shooting upsets residents; OPD responds

on May 4, 2010

Some East Oakland residents are upset after police killed a deer that wandered into their neighborhood on Saturday. Under the headline “Oakland Police chase and gun down ‘Bambi,'” the Chronicle reported that OPD officers shot the deer seven times after the disoriented animal was spotted walking through the neighborhood. A neighbor caught the shooting on tape, and the video was soon aired on local TV news broadcasts. Neighbors were quick to criticize the OPD for frightening neighbors with the sounds of gunfire and for not attempting a more humane method of removing the deer.

Although OPD press spokesperson Holly Joshi initially told TV reporters that the responding officers had considered the deer a “public safety issue,” on Tuesday afternoon, the OPD released the following statement:

“The Oakland Police Department wants to publicly express our concern over the incident involving a deer in East Oakland on Saturday. The shooting of the deer by police officers is an unfortunate event and we are disturbed by the situation. The actions of the officers will be reviewed and we are working diligently to find alternatives for a better outcome in the future. We value all life and are dedicated to training and partnerships in the future that will help us to understand wildlife preservation. Chief Batts feels deep regret and said, “I’m unhappy with the results of this incident. I do not like what I saw. We are reviewing our policies and our procedures surrounding this incident to ensure that something like this does not happen again. I understand the importance of life and am working towards implementing strategies that will result in humane outcomes in our future contacts with wildlife.”

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Photo by Basil D Soufi
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