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OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 02: A sign is posted on a tent at the Occupy Oakland encampment on November 2, 2011 in Oakland, California. Thousands of protestors have taken to the streets for a general strike organized by Occupy Oakland. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Occupy Oakland protestors are being issued a formal notice to vacate following a fatal shooting near the camp at Frank Ogawa Plaza, Mayor Jean Quan said .
In a statement issued Friday, Quan said Thursday night's shooting, in which a man in his early 20s was killed just before 5 p.m. on the 1400 block of Broadway, had "elevated concerns about the safety of the encampment and people who also use the space."
"The risks are too great and it is time for the encampment to end," Quan said. Both protesters and police have said there is no apparent connection between the shooting and the encampment.
However, Quan said that the Police Department's resources need to return to addressing violence and said that the homicide "underscores the reasons why the encampment must end." Quan said that a cameraman was also assaulted after the shooting by a group of individuals at the encampment, and suffered a mild concussion. In addition, emergency personnel were called to the camp at 4 a.m. today to assist a 20-year-old male who seemed to be suffering from a drug or alcohol overdose. He was taken to Summit Medical Center for treatment.
Ongoing problems with vandalism have been reported near the encampment, and Quan's statement said that electrical power boxes for outside lights have been forced open. City public works employees have been conducting daily vandalism and graffiti cleanups and daily power washing of the plaza and surrounding areas.
Mayor Jean Quan's pleas may have fallen on deaf ears but the Oakland Police Officers’ Association is hoping its message will occupy protesters' hearts.
The group that represents 645 Oakland police officers sent an open letter to the Occupy Oakland encampment Thursday asking the group to "peacefully and immediately" leave Frank Ogawa Plaza so the department can get back to other pressing problems in the city.
"Oakland police officers are the 99% and we understand and sympathize with your message," the letter says. "We respect your right to peaceful protest. We are also sworn to protect the citizens of Oakland. Right now, Oakland is in a state of emergency."
The association says the killing of a man near the Occupy encampment Thursday night should serve as an example of why the officers need to get back to their jobs.
The letter says the killing was the 101st homicide in Oakland this year and it furthers Oakland's reputation as the most violent city in California.
"You have sent the world a strong message; now it is time to go home. Your leaving today, peacefully, of your own free will, on the 30th day, will send a message to Oakland that you care about our citizens and respect our city," the letter says.
The association also highlights that several of the protesters are not from the Oakland area and they may not have the best interest of the city in mind.
There was no early indication of how the letter was received at the Occupy camp.
Bay City News