Oakland police detail spike in crime this year

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OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) — The City of Oakland has seen a troubling rise in crime this year.

Officials from the Oakland Police Department held a press conference Friday to address the uptick in gun violence.

The city of Oakland has experienced a 38% increase in homicides in the year 2020. The city is on pace to have one of its worst years in recent memory, according to the Oakland Police Officers’ Association Barry Donelan.

Six juveniles have been murdered this year, versus none in 2019.

Police say this could be because the coronavirus pandemic has kids out of school and not attending any afterschool activities.

Additionally, there are currently 51 unsolved murders in Oakland.

During the first quarter of 2020, there was a decrease in violence. But the Oakland police chief says the pandemic has caused the uptick in violence.

Several other cities are seeing an increase as well.

City officials say it’s likely due to the lack of healthcare and release of inmates without re-entry resources.

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.

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.

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

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