Safety

Ceasefire walkers in East Oakland say it’s their way of doing something about the uptick in gun violence

Cars along International Boulevard honked their support Friday night as about 15 people walked down the sidewalk holding signs that read “Stop the Violence” and “Love One Another.” The group pleasantly greeted passersby as they strolled block by block through the East Oakland neighborhood. Oakland Ceasefire night walks started 10 years ago, with groups that sometimes number about 100 walking through areas most affected by gun and gang violence. The walks, which returned in September 2020 after a pandemic break,…

Oakland 911 now can dispatch mental health calls to MACRO team instead of police

Oakland’s community response pilot program, which launched last spring as an alternative to a police response, was connected this month to 911 dispatch services. Teams with the Mobile Assistance Community Responders of Oakland program now will be dispatched to calls about mental health crises, wellness checks and other issues that trained professionals may be better equipped to handle. The MACRO program is an alternative response to non-violent, non-emergency 911 calls. The 18-month pilot has been in operation for four months…

Oakland has spent millions fighting former police chief’s successful lawsuit

Oakland has spent almost $2.9 million to date to defend a wrongful termination lawsuit brought by former police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick.  A federal jury last Saturday, finding the city had no grounds to fire Kirkpatrick, awarded her $337,645 in damages — an amount equal to a year’s compensation.  Ryan Richardson, Oakland special counsel, said the award was “equivalent of the one-year severance the City was ready and willing to pay when she was terminated in 2020.” According to an expense…

No charges will be filed against CHP officers who shot man 16 times in Oakland

Three California Highway Patrol officers involved in killing Erik Salgado during an arrest in 2020 will not face criminal charges, Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley reported Monday, nearly two years after Salgado was shot 16 times and died on an East Oakland street. O’Malley said that while questions remain about the force used against Salgado, there wasn’t enough evidence or witnesses to charge the officers. She said that if evidence or witnesses come forth, the case could be reopened….

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…

Boxes, buckets, Buicks and Chevies: Sideshows are at a crossroad

Tires screech and cars dance on the streets of Oakland as sideshow culture fills the air, along with the smell of burning rubber.   Originating in Oakland in the 1980s, sideshows have gained traction in the Bay Area, exciting audiences, frustrating motorists and irritating police. Oakland recently unveiled a bold plan to crack down on sideshows, which are classified as reckless driving and punishable as a misdemeanor. Richmond City Council recently took action to deter sideshows. And a state law signed…

Oakland looks to make Chinatown’s streets safer by redesigning them

From horses to highways, the streets of Oakland’s Chinatown have been shaped by every form of traffic since its founding in 1850. Soon it will be reshaped again. With a $500,000 Caltrans Sustainable Communities grant, Oakland’s Department of Transportation will fund a multilingual community outreach program to collect input from the neighborhood and redesign the streets of Chinatown. The public’s opinion will be solicited beginning early 2022. The project’s goal is to increase pedestrian and bicycle safety and reduce carbon…

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…