On Labor Day in 2009, 17-year-old Desiree Davis was killed in a drive by shooting in North Oakland. After her death, a brand new Oakland North reporter named S. Howard Bransford spent time with Davis’ family and wrote movingly about the teenager’s life. His story, “Slain student, a taunted outsider, was fighting hard to grow…

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Discovery Channel focuses on violence in Oakland tonight, with the first episode in a two-part series called “Gang Wars Oakland.” The channel web site’s calls Oakland is “the new frontline in an American gang war” and says, “the murder rate rivals a war zone.”

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17-year old Desiree Davis had spent her childhood excluded and taunted for never quite fitting in. “They gave her a real hard time her whole life,” said her mother, Dru Ann Davis, in an interview at her home this weekend. A Hurricane Katrina survivor, born blind in one eye, Desiree was working to find new strength and identity in Oakland before she was killed last week in a drive-by shooting. Story by S. Howard Bransford/Oakland North.

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Desiree Davis, the 17 year-old Oakland Tech student killed in a drive-by shooting Monday, had been trapped with her family in Hurricane Katrina’s floodwaters before they sought safety and a new life in California. Her uncle says they tried Santa Cruz for a while, but that Oakland had felt to them more like home.

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