Well I’m probably starting to sound like a broken record at this point and it certainly must be Monday because there is more news out on our Oakland weekender murders. This weekend we saw three dead and several more injured in the gun fun that Mayor Ron Dellums won’t seem to do anything about. Maybe it’s because he’s too busy trying to push his own personal political ambitions as Hillarious Clinton’s new chief urban adviser or whatever the hell his position is on her campaign, or maybe he just doesn’t give a damn that people in Oakland continue to die pretty much every weekend, but whatever the case his performance continues to be unacceptable.
There were five shootings in Oakland this weekend in total.
From the SF Chronicle:
“A lot of us feel like we’re on our own down here,” said Bob Brokl, who has lived on 58th Street for 37 years. Brokl lives a half-block from where a man was killed Friday and where a separate spray of gunfire occurred early Saturday morning. “It’s a crisis.”
The series of shootings began near Brokl’s North Oakland block at around 1:20 p.m. Friday afternoon, police said. Authorities gave few other details.
But neighbors who declined to give their names said a man was sitting inside his car on the block when he was shot by an assailant on foot. The victim was able to drive a half-block to Shattuck Avenue, where he collided with another car. He tried to run from the car but collapsed one block away.
Police and paramedics arrived on the scene soon, but the man died at an area hospital shortly after, according to police spokesperson Roland Holmgren. He identified the victim as Dwayne Griffin, 26.
Holmgren said police have no suspects, nor a motive. “
Of course rather than deal with the problems in Oakland more directly, “Soft on Crime” Dellums used his platform last week to blame the “Bush administration” for his city’s problems. Huh? I suppose that’s a convenient response to someone who seems to be spending more of his time working to elect Hillarious Clinton as president than working on his crime problem in Oakland. And why shouldn’t he? Heck, if Hillarious gets elected he’ll be able to jet himself out of the urban chaos of Oakland to some nice cushy job in Washington DC.
“At approximately 10:10 p.m. Friday, two men were shot near the intersection of Eleventh and Peralta streets in West Oakland, Holmgren said, adding that one man was in critical condition, while the other was in stable condition.
Two hours later in East Oakland, a man was shot on the 3100 block of 14th avenue at 12:22 a.m., according to Officer J. Morgheim. The man suffered wounds on his head and lower back, but Morgheim said the injuries did not seem life-threatening.
About an hour later, in almost the exact same location as Griffin’s shooting 12 hours earlier at 58th Street and Shattuck Avenue, several neighbors reported automatic gunfire spanning several minutes early Saturday morning, punctuated by the squealing tires of fleeing cars. There appeared to be no connection to Griffin’s slaying, said Lt. Ersie Joyner, who heads the Oakland Police Department homicide unit.
Another 40 minutes later, across town in East Oakland, two men were shot in the 9000 block of Hillside Street, Holmgren said. Both were pronounced dead at the scene. Police have no suspects and no other information, Holmgren said. One victim was identified by authorities as Juan Barnes, 34, of Hayward.
On Saturday afternoon, several Hillside Street residents lamented the latest events on their block, a mix of single family homes and apartment buildings. Some despairingly call the street “Killside Street” because it wasn’t the first shooting on the block. Nor do they believe it will be the last.”
Mayor Dellums needs to do two things immediately.
1. Declare a “War on Crime” in Oakland and publicly tell his constituents how he is going to slow the gun murders.
2. Take a visible public position advocating life in prison for anyone caught with an illegal gun.
The Mayor should also study some of the tactics that have recently been promised in Philadelphia by their new Mayor Michael Nutter.
From the Washington Post:
“‘Mayor-elect Michael Nutter, angered by the brazen shooting of a police officer and a persistently high number of killings that threatens to top 400 for a second consecutive year, has vowed to declare a crime emergency as soon as he enters office Jan. 7. Nutter also plans to bring the police force to full strength for the first time in years, saturate high-crime communities with officers, limit or prohibit street gatherings and establish curfews in those neighborhoods.”
Curfews in high crime neighborhoods, starting a “stop and frisk” program — as has been done in Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis and Minneapolis, putting more surveillance cameras in high crime areas, etc. should all be explored as ways to declare “War on Crime.”
Instead of simply pointing the finger (conveinently) at President Bush, Dellums should stop his political posturing for a national appointment and do the work he signed up for as Mayor of Oakland.
Update: Project Exile also looks like something interesting that Mayor Dellums ought to take a serious look at and consider adopting. If criminals spent longer terms in jail for illegal guns than the slap on the wrist that the Alameda County Court system gives them today this could also be a positive step forward. Thanks, V Smoothe!