Rebecca D. Kaplan, the Oakland City Council’s At Large representative and new President Pro Tem has sent this statement on the Oakland Art Murmur First Friday Shooting that occurred almost one week ago come this Friday.
“The shooting that took the young life of Kiante Campbell in Oakland Friday night was tragic – my prayers are with the victim’s family – and is evidence of a gun violence epidemic throughout our city that we must act to end.
Our community is committed to ending gun violence – no matter where it occurs. From Telegraph to Trestle Glen, Brookdale to Bancroft – an injury to one is an injury to all.
The men and women of the Oakland Police Department deserve our most sincere gratitude for their swift action to identify and arrest the shooter in Friday’s violence.
As a city, we are committed to sending a clear message to anyone with disregard for law or life: if you take a shot, you will get caught.
And we must take further strong action to prevent the spread of, ensure quick response to, and prosecute the perpetrators of gun crimes in our city.
We know the overwhelming majority of gun crimes committed in Oakland are using firearms acquired illegally – and in order to protect our city from brazen but cowardly acts of violence, we need to enhance police deployment, shut down access to illegal guns and make it harder for ammunition to fall into the wrong hands.
Oakland has no gun stores, and stopping the flow of guns into our city from out-of-town and out-of-state is especially essential to achieving this goal – one that will require collaboration at all levels, from elected officials to faith leaders, neighborhood members to business owners. And I’m encouraged by the steps that the city has taken recently to support these goals – including:
· Contracting with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office for additional patrol units
· Authorizing a third Oakland Police Department academy this year
· Hiring new civilian crime technicians to help investigate and solve crimes, freeing sworn officers to patrol our streets
· Supporting California Assembly Bill 48 (Skinner) to create “bullet control” in our state
· Supporting the renewal of a federal assault weapons ban and universal background checks to reduce the interstate flow of dangerous guns
And I’m committed to further, concrete efforts we must still pursue – including:
· Expanding our city’s response to ShotSpotter alerts (instant information whenever a shot is fired)
· Supporting Assembly Bill 187 (Bonta) to tax ammunition sales in order to fund efforts against gun violence
· Working with the state and county officials to track and prosecute illegal gun dealing
· Implementing additional police academies and police department civilianization in the coming budget in order to provide police deployment for every beat
Effective deployment of law enforcement resources are a critical component to keeping people safe in every corner of our city. When Oakland exceeded the voter-mandated number of police officers, crime went down 15% – two years in a row. The subsequent layoffs, which I opposed, diminished our ability to provide for public safety. We can, and must, continue taking steps we have begun to restore public safety staffing as the public has authorized.
Finally, we must continue to carry out the kind of logistical planning and safety precautions to ensure that our city – including public events – are safe and welcoming for residents and visitors alike.”
And on a related note, a community memorial for Kiante Campbell, who was murdered last Friday night at the Art Murmur Shooting, will be held at The First Place For Youth, 1601 Telegraph Avenue at 16th Street, Oakland, from 5 PM to 8 PM.