OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) — Four murders occurred in a four-day span last week in Oakland, including the shooting death of a 15-year-old girl. The president of the union that represents Oakland police said more needs to be done to keep criminals behind bars and reduce gun violence in the city.
The victims of the murders are a robbery victim who was shot after giving up his personal possessions, a shooting victim found murdered in his vehicle, an on-duty security guard shot to death on his lunch break and a 15-year-old girl found shot inside a house. Barry Donelan, the president of the Oakland Police Officers’ Association, called on Mayor Libby Schaaf and the Oakland City Council to push harder to keep perpetrators of gun violence off the streets.
“They need to collectively take a stand against the level of violence that we’re seeing here,” Donelan said. “They have to push judges and the district attorney, publicly, to keep people in jail who are caught with a firearm or shoot somebody in our city. Not send them back to the streets of Oakland.”
Donelan also said that the pandemic-related statewide emergency bail schedule change is a factor in the level of Oakland’s gun violence. The change reduced bail to $0 for most misdemeanor and lower-level felony offenses, including possession of a weapon.
Several other local political figures weighed in on the matter.
“Far too many individuals who have been released under the emergency bail schedule continue to engage in criminal activity.” Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley’s office said in a statement to KRON. “We have seen an escalation in the seriousness of the crimes being committed after release without a bail.”
“Those changes to the bail schedule has had unintended consequences and has not made our streets safer,” Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said. “We join the District Attorney Nancy O’Malley in urging the Alameda Courts to revise some of the COVID Emergency Bail Policies.”
“We are working with the D.A.’s office,” Oakland City Councilmember Treva Reid said. “We certainly need to increase our call to action to the courts with the judicial system with the discretion that they have on how they implement our bail system. There’s a number of layers here, with city council, that we should be taking to ensure that we keep our community safe and protected.”