Oakland City Leaders to Discuss Making Gun Violence Prevention Top Priority

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Oakland city leaders on Tuesday were expected to take action against the rise in violent crime across the city by discussing a resolution making gun violence prevention a top priority.

The Oakland City Council's discussion comes on the heels of the police union accusing city leaders of turning their backs on citizens and saying this latest move is mere lip service.

According to police union leaders, there have been 80 homicides in Oakland so far this year, a 38% increase from 2019. By comparison, San Francisco has seen 47 homicides, a 47% rise, and San Jose has seen 35 homicides, up 9%.

The proposed resolution recommends that the Oakland Police Department should focus more on removing illegal guns from the street; increase the tracing of guns and shell casings; and improve the department's overall response to shootings.

The head of Oakland’s police union wrote in a news release that the city proposal is just lip service from city council members who are safe behind their Zoom meeting screens while they look for a new chief of police who will champion the defunding of police.

Council President Rebecca Kaplan also has proposed the city terminate OPD's participation in an FBI joint terrorism task force. Kaplan argues the task force has trampled on the civil rights of the Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim and South Asian communities; has targeted the Black Lives Matter movement; and is part of an effort by immigration officials to deport immigrant rights advocates.

Police union leaders also criticized that proposal, saying that dismantling the city’s long-standing relationship with the task force would be counterproductive.

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