Two Oakland City Council members today called for the city to do a better job of fighting crime in the wake of the fatal shooting of a 66-year-old woman in the Fairfax neighborhood in East Oakland in broad daylight Wednesday.
Speaking at a news conference in the 2400 block of Fern Street, where Judy Salamon was fatally shot while driving at about 1:25 p.m. Wednesday, City Councilman Noel Gallo said, "All leaders in this city, everyone from the police chief to the mayor to the City Council, should be ashamed of the poor job we are doing at protecting the residents of Oakland."
City Councilwoman Libby Schaaf, who represents the district where Salamon lived and was killed, said, "Oaklanders shouldn't have to live like this, with bullets flying into their homes and cars."
In addition to Salamon's death, Schaaf said she was referring to the death of 8-year-old Alaysha Carradine, who was shot when she answered the door at an apartment at 3440 Wilson St. at about 11:15 p.m. on July 17. That location also is in Schaaf's district.
Schaaf said, "We need to raise children who are not capable of committing these acts and who don't remain silent in the face of these acts."
Oakland police haven't discussed a motive for the shooting death of Salamon or released information about a suspect.
Gallo, who represents the district that's adjacent to the area where Salamon and Carradine were killed, said it's ironic that Salamon had been working to make her neighborhood safer by advocating that it hire a private security firm to patrol it.
But he said he understands why some neighborhoods already have hired private security firms because "people have given up since they know the Police Department is understaffed."
Gallo said he supports hiring private security firms "considering what we're going through in Oakland," referring to its high crime rate and understaffed Police Department.
Joel Denney, who lives near Salamon's house in the 2700 block of Best Avenue, about a half a mile from where she was shot, said she lived in the neighborhood for about 20 years and worked as a pet sitter, primarily for dogs and cats.
Denney described Salamon as "a tireless advocate for justice" for many causes, not just for making her neighborhood safer.
He said Salamon was born in Hungary to a Jewish family of Holocaust survivors and he finds it ironic that she was killed next to a Jewish cemetery, the Home of Peace Cemetery.
Salamon's family moved to Canada several years after she was born and she grew up there, Denney said.
He said she was married twice but didn't have any children and her only survivor is an older sister who lives in Los Angeles.
Denney said he feels "horrible and sad" about Salamon's death and "it's not a cliche to say that I have a heavy heart."
However, Denney said he also feels "a sense of anger" and thinks that "it could have been me" who was shot because he was in the same area around the time Salamon was fatally shot.