Police

More police patrols for East Oakland after homicides spike

This month, the Oakland Police Department will shift 48 officers to East Oakland and implement a new patrol plan in a section of the city that has been hit hardest by a sharp increase in violent crime. In a year-end news release, the department reported that it investigated 134 homicides in 2021, the most since 2012. Homicides were up 30% from 2020 and shootings were up 21%. “Many of the homicides and shootings involved gang and group members and conflicts,”…

Injured protesting George Floyd murder, they are now suing Oakland and Alameda County

Kierra Brown was helping wash people’s eyes when officers in riot gear approached, forcing her to run. It was June 2020, during a protest in downtown Oakland over the murder of George Floyd, and police had tear-gassed the crowd minutes earlier. Police shot Brown in the back of her right leg with an “impact munition,” projectiles typically made from rubber, wood or beans. She hasn’t regained full sensation in that leg and is at risk of losing mobility in her…

Remembering the many killed, during National Day Against Police Brutality

Across the street from Oscar Grant III Way, a sea of candles lit up the Fruitvale BART Station on Friday evening. Families from across the Bay Area placed these candles in front of an Oscar Grant mural to mark National Day Against Police Brutality. Every Oct. 22, families and community members across the country remember and honor people who were killed by police officers. The event was started in 1996 by the October 22 Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, Repression…

“Justice for Jonathan!” Rally calls for FBI to name agent, release video of Cortez shooting

Tension, anger and grief filled the air Saturday afternoon in downtown Oakland, as dozens of people rallied to demand answers in the FBI’s killing last month of a 31-year-old Oakland man. “Justice for Jonathan!” people shouted, as they marched with spray-painted posters from Oscar Grant Plaza to the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse a few blocks away. Jonathan Cortez was buying a Gatorade and some snacks from a corner store in Fruitvale on Sept. 13 when a…

Oakland police lieutenant on leave along with police chief wife, amid criminal allegations

Oakland Police Lt. Lee French and his wife, Richmond Police Chief Bisa French, are on leave and under investigation, after a domestic violence restraining order was filed against them by a relative who claims they pinned her down and threatened her boyfriend and his family. The Oakland Police Department Thursday confirmed that Lee French was put on leave and said an internal investigation is underway into “criminal allegations.” In court documents, 18-year-old relative accused the Frenches of attacking her and…

Oakland council reverses course, votes to add police academy

Oakland City Council on Tuesday voted to add a fifth police academy in the next two years to recruit more officers and increase staffing, reversing a decision from three months earlier. The council approved the resolution a day after Oakland recorded its 100th homicide this year. It passed by a 6-2 vote, with Nikki Fortunato Bas and Carroll Fife voting no.  In June, the council rejected the mayor’s request for six police academies over the next two years and budgeted…

Oakland shifting some police calls to new civilian team

Oakland is preparing to launch an 18-month pilot program that will direct some 911 calls to a team of trained civilian responders rather than to the Police Department.  Mobile Assistance Community Responders of Oakland will be run by the Fire Department on a limited basis, beginning later this year or early next year, depending on how quickly personnel can be hired and trained.  MACRO will respond to calls regarding such things as mental health crises and public intoxication, according to…