'Violence is growing': Oakland community advocates search for solutions amid rising crime

ByCornell Barnard KGO logo
Sunday, July 30, 2023
Oakland community advocates search for solutions amid rising crime
A community gathering in Oakland brought awareness to increased concerns over public safety amid a rise in violent crimes.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- A community gathering in Oakland was held on Saturday to support victims of crime and their families. The event comes amid increased concerns over public safety, some saying violent crime requires nothing short of a state of emergency.

Prizes were being raffled off while bounce houses kept kids busy and there was lots of music.

It was part of Family Fun Day in Mosswood Park, hosted by Oakland's Violence Prevention Coalition. This event supported crime victims and their families.

Advocate Brenda Grisham lost her son to gun violence in 2010.

RELATED: Oakland residents raise crime concerns at packed public safety meeting with police, DA

So many people wanted to be in attendance and share their concerns or experiences getting assaulted, that the Zoom app maxed out. Here's what they had to say.

She believes crime in Oakland is reaching a boiling point.

"I was going to have a National Night Out event this week. I canceled because in the area where I am, there was a shooting, a murder and a drive-by in less than a week -- not safe," Grisham said.

Friday night, one person was wounded in a shooting at 19th and Broadway. Oakland Police Department says its looking for suspects.

"Violence is growing in our communities, and we have to work to ensure the proper resources are available so that violence can decrease and eventually stop," said Wanda Johnson from the Oscar Grant Foundation.

MORE: 2 adults, 1 juvenile arrested in connection to series of Oakland carjackings, police say

This week, emotions were running high at a public safety meeting on Thursday in Oakland. The issue on everyone's mind was rising crime.

Just a day after the Oakland chapter of the NAACP penned a letter asking for a state of emergency, the state chapter released a letter saying that they were doubling down on that call because "our community members are in danger."

According to the OPD, since Jan. 1, violent crime is up 15% over the same period last year:

  • Property crime has increased 28%.
  • Homicides so far in 2023 are down 13% compared to 2022.
  • Burglaries are up 41%.
  • Vehicle thefts have increased 50%.

MORE: 9-month pregnant woman shot in Oakland, police say

Critics are concerned about over-policing but currently, the department is understaffed.

Community advocates say solutions aren't easy but creating a safer city must begin from the ground up.

"'Cause a lot of the issues start from home if families got together and talked a little more, I think it would curb the violence," Grisham said.

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