OAN’s Abril Elfi
11:58 AM – Tuesday, August 1, 2023
The NAACP Oakland chapter and religious leaders joined forces to call for a state of emergency. This push comes amid rising violent crimes in the California city.
On July 27th, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) released an open letter regarding Oakland’s violence. The Acts Full Gospel Church also participated in the writing of the statement, where both organizations claimed that the city district attorneys are to blame for “the movement to defund the police.”
The letter was written by NAACP President Cynthia Adams and Bob Jackson, the bishop of the church. Adams claimed that as a result of crimes including carjackings, robberies, and muggings, residents of Oakland are reluctant to speak out against crime.
“Failed leadership, including the movement to defund the police, our District Attorney’s unwillingness to charge and prosecute people who murder and commit life threatening serious crimes, and the proliferation of anti-police rhetoric have created a heyday for Oakland criminals,” wrote Adams and Jackson. “Our 911 system does not work. Residents now know that help will not come when danger confronts them.”
The letter requested that officials acknowledge and proclaim a public safety emergency. It also asked Alameda County and state law enforcement for assistance. Additionally, Adams and Jackson requested job training and mentoring so that young people could have more options besides committing crimes.
Robert Patillo, a civil and human rights attorney, joined in with local district attorneys claiming that the organizations are pushing a “false narrative.”
“Nobody has been talking seriously about defunding the police. It’s been this conceptualization of reallocating resources to ensure that law enforcement is acting effectively,” Patillo said. “People have the right to seek both security from criminals and security from abuses from law enforcement.”
He also argued that people should not have to give up security to enjoy freedom.
Patillo continued by stating that measures such as funding social services, offering educational opportunities, jobs, and maintaining neighborhoods, all contribute to a reduction in crime.
According to the Oakland Police Department, crime has risen 11% from last year. The city has had 3,370 violent crime reports in 2023. They also stated that in the first seven months of this year, there have been around 52 homicides. This number is equivalent to the amount of homicides that occurred during the entire year of 2022.
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