Oakland city leaders Wednesday declared an emergency, saying gun violence is a public health crisis in the wake of the city's 100th homicide of the year and the shooting of a police officer in a gunbattle earlier that day.
The resolution asks Alameda County to allocate money from the COVID-19 stimulus package to the city of Oakland Department of Violence Prevention.
Earlier this week, Oakland approved the creation of a new police academy, which will put more officers on the streets. With the relief money, the city also would be able to fund more mental health services, medical clinics within the community, housing support and, among other things, help small minority owned businesses.
"When we talk about gun violence in Oakland, the majority of those who are losing their lives are … Latino men and our Black Men," City Councilmember Treva Reid said. "So this resolution is to uplift the crisis we are in with 100 lives lost, the majority of which are Black and brown men and women dying on our streets."
The Oakland officer who was shot and wounded in the line of duty early Wednesday was in stable condition. He and another officer responded to a report of a man with a gun in the 2100 block of Telegraph Avenue and when they arrived were met with gunfire, police said. Both officers fired back, and the suspect, a 50-year-old man, also was wounded and last reported in stable condition.
Oakland officially recorded its 100th homicide Monday. Ten of those homicides happened in just the past week, with four occurring last weekend.