The latest news in the case of the Oakland Art Murmur First Friday Shooting that happened Friday night is that a 19-year-old man was charged with assault, but no murder charge was filed. That, even though four people were wounded and one killed – Kiante Campbell of Oakland, 18.
According to KTVU.com, 19-year-old Donald Parks Jr. was not charged with murder by the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office, but assault. Mr. Parks is specifically charged with assault with a semi-automatic firearm and one count each of carrying a concealed weapon and carrying a loaded firearm in a city.
Alameda County DA Teresa Drenick, who’s one of the best in the view of this space, told KTVU that her office could not charge Mr. Parks with murder because it could only charge “what we can prove with the evidence that we have.”
Considering the climate and the lack of video of what happened, this comes as no surprise to this space. The woman I talked to in my video said that she saw three men running from the scene. And the entire area where the incident occurred at 20th and 21st and Telegraph was virtually dark. Add in a crowd of people, most wearing dark clothing, and you’ve got a problem.
I figured this outcome might happened because in another video, an officer appears briefly and asks if anyone saw anything. The maker of the video turned off his camcorder right at that point – I’d have left it running. But what that action told me is no one was willing to say a thing, or even capture someone else talking – if they talked at all.
A Dark Area For A Crime
But take a look at how dark that area was in my video:
The other problem is the tungsten lights used on the street don’t brightly illuminate dark areas along it, and that’s true for that part of Telegraph Avenue. By contrast, the lighting on the part of Telegraph next to the Uptown Apartments and Sears is really well lit, and not by the same kind of lighting. That’s a real problem.
I’m willing to bet that crime would not have happened with that kind of lighting between 20th and 21st and Telegraph.
Oakland People Don’t Use The Tech They Have
And the other problem is that, even with all of the people and all of the cellphones that have camcorders in them, only four videos, including the one I created, have been shared with the public. That’s unbelievable. But the problem is people don’t use the tech they have. Moreover, a reward should be issued for any video that shows what happened that night as it happened, and the price tag of the reward should be $20,000. Personally I believe someone out there has a more conclusive video, but is not sharing it with the public.
As for young Donald Parks Jr., even though he’s off the hook for murder, the main question law enforcement should ask him, and share with us, is why he would bring a semi-automatic weapon to art murmur? What was his purpose and motive? And where did he get the device?
I hope the Alameda County DA’s Office is willing to share with the public what they’ve learned. Of course, their response would be “that’s also the job of the media” – and the Alameda County DA would be correct.
This Is Our Collective Oakland Problem
The problem of violence in Oakland is a child of our culture. It’s the end result of people walking by each other and not saying hello; of not enough good jobs for low skilled young people; of adults who send a message that they don’t care about young people; of kids having kids; of the lack of a large “village” of people who care about each other. We can’t ask one person – be it the Mayor or the police, or anyone else – to solve a problem that we, all of us Oaklanders, contribute to in ways large and small.
Stop pointing at someone else, and ask “What can I do?”