38% increase in Oakland homicides this year

Bay Area

OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) – The city of Oakland has experienced a 38% increase in homicides in the year 2020.

Now, the city council president is recommending a pair of resolutions aimed at stopping gun violence but the president of the Oakland Police Union explains why the resolutions won’t work.

When it comes to violent crime the city of Oakland is on pace to have one of its worst years in recent memory, says the president of the Oakland Police Officers’ Association Barry Donelan.

“Some of the numbers are incredible. We got more than 400 people shot this year in the city. 80 murders so far this year. We have 75 for all of last year,” Donelan said. 

“It is incredibly important that we recognize that shutting down the sources of illegal guns is vital to stopping gun violence,” Rebecca Kaplan said. 

This week Oakland City Council President Rebecca Kaplan is introducing a resolution declaring gun violence prevention a top law enforcement priority. 

By priority, she means Oakland Police hiring someone to trace gun casings left at crime scenes — A position that has been vacant for two years even though it has been budgeted.

“I want to be clear the council-funded this position. The money to trace the illegal guns is in the budget and we’re saying they need to go ahead and fill that position,” Kaplan said. 

However, Donelan says the position remains unfilled because he believes no one wants to work in what he calls a hostile work environment.

“She is talking about hiring one person to do tracing which is a noble job and very technical job but the challenge with those kinds of expertise, they’re not interested in coming to Oakland when they may get laid off next week when they defund the police department,” Donelan said. 

Kaplan is also recommending the city council adopt a resolution to terminate OPD’s participation with the FBI’s joint terrorism task force. Counterintuitive, according to the police union.

“Of the three big cities in the Bay Area, Oakland has been the one struck by terrorism. We had a white supremacist kill a security officer at the federal building,” Donelan said. 

The city council president sites that same incident as a reason to sever ties with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force.

“The federal government has refused to go after white supremacists even though it was white supremacists who committed murder in Oakland,” Kaplan said. 

Both resolutions will be presented at the next Oakland City Council meeting.

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