Mayor Quan renews demand for 'Occupy' to end

November 12, 2011 11:21:51 AM PST
Some Oakland city leaders say it was their worst fear that someone would be seriously hurt or killed at the "Occupy Oakland" encampment, and now it's happened. A young man was shot to death near the busy plaza less than 24 hours ago.

The identity of the young man killed has yet to be officially released and no arrested have been made, but one thing is clear: Last night's shooting has put even more pressure on the mayor and city leaders to forcefully remove the camp.

One day after the man was gunned down near the Occupy Oakland encampment, Mayor Jean Quan repeated her plea for hundreds of campers to voluntarily leave Frank Ogawa Plaza.

"It is an example of why we need to peacefully close the encampment at City Hall," Quan said. "We are asking everyone at the plaza to leave. We're going to give another official notice today."

Earlier, Quan joined with interfaith leaders to release some doves during a prayer service at Downtown Cathedral.

"We pray for divine wisdom upon the mayor as the leader of this city," one religious leader said. "We pray for the shooting victim. We pray for the person who shot."

The man killed on Thursday -- identified only as Alex -- was just steps away from the tents in an area where several young men had been fighting earlier in the day.

The Oakland Police Officers' Association (OPOA) is drawing a line between the encampment and the murder.

"I don't see too many broad daylight murders in Downtown Oakland," Dom Arotzarena with OPOA said. "What's happened in Oakland is that this Occupy Oakland (movement) has created an environment that is conducive to crime."

When asked if the shooting was related to the encampment, one protester said no.

"They were not occupiers," protester Maxwell Pryde said. "It happened in an area where kids come hang out after school anyway."

But Desley Brooks with the Oakland City Council said there is a connection between yesterday's murder and the protesters.

"I went down to the encampment after the young man was killed," Brooks said. "His relatives were down there, several were participating in the encampment. He had been there a number of days."

Oakland police went through the encampment on Friday, going tent-by-tent and handing notices of eviction to the protesters. Citing several city ordinances, the notice called for the immediate dissolution of the encampment. Occupy residents took the warning in stride.

"They gave us several notices before the last time they raided, they gave us a two-hour warning. So when that two-hour warning comes from the police department, then we'll worry," said Jessica Kohls with Occupy Oakland.

One protester says when the camp is raided by police, they'll just bring the camp right back in.

According to crime maps, there was just one other murder in that neighborhood over the past year. In the same area over the last 60 days, there have been 26 assaults. Six of those assaults were classified as "aggravated."

On Friday, Oakland police released detailed information about two suspects wanted in connection with the shooting.

The first suspect is described as an African-American male with short hair between 20 and 25 years old. The man is 5'9" and about 150 pounds. The suspect was last seen wearing a white T-shirt and police say he was seen around the encampment days before the shooting.

The second suspect hasn't been seen around the encampment for a while, according to police. The second suspect is also described as an African-American male in his 20s betwen 5'9" and 5'11, weiging about 125 pounds with long dreadlocs that have red tips. The suspect likely has a tattoo on the back of his neck.

Anyone with information about the suspects is being asked to contact Oakland Police.

Veterans groups protest at 'Occupy Oakland'

Because of the injures that former Marine Scott Olsen and Army Ranger Kayvan Sabeghi received, veterans groups marched on Veterans Day to honor them. They say they came to the Occupy Oakland camp to protest peacefully the injuries they say their fellow veterans received from Oakland police while trying to protest peacefully last week.

"Four American military veterans, including members of the Iraq Veterans Against the War and Veterans For Peace have been brutally attacked by police in Oakland during the recent actions related to occupy Oakland," said Mike Wong from Veterans For Peace to the crowd.

The veterans led a peaceful, but loud march of about 150 people from 14th and Broadway to 21st then back to the Oakland police station. They chanted "end the war" and "tax the rich." When they arrived at the police station they yelled "stop beating veterans" at police officers.

ABC7's Tomas Roman contributed to this report.


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