Pastor Billy Dixon Jr. leaned forward in his seat. “Do you know what 26 seconds of solid gunfire sounds like?” he asked. He placed his cell phone on the table, and started a timer. “Bang bang bang … !” he cried repeatedly, as a table full of Oakland North reporters, students at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, looked on in silence. Dixon wasn’t joking. As co-chair of the Oakland Ceasefire program and a longtime resident of Oakland, he…
Twenty people from fifteen of the most violent groups in Oakland gathered in one room last week, as city officials, law enforcement, and community members appealed to them to stop shooting as part of the city’s latest violence prevention effort.
A rise in shootings has prompted Oakland city officials and community members to revisit Operation Ceasefire, a violence prevention program the city tried before but failed to sustain, one that specifically targets offenders with known track records of gun violence.
Community members, law enforcement officials and politicians alike reached across church aisles Thursday night to hold hands, literally, and pledge commitment to ending gun violence in Oakland.