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

ByTim Johns KGO logo
Friday, July 28, 2023
Oakland residents raise crime concerns at packed public safety meeting
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.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Emotions were running high at a public safety meeting Thursday in Oakland. The meeting, which was attended by Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price and representatives from the Oakland Police Department, was over capacity.

There was even a line out the door, and so many people trying to log on through Zoom -- the app maxed out.

INTERACTIVE: Take a look at the ABC7 Neighborhood Safety Tracker

The issue on everyone's mind was rising crime.

"Started beating on us. Beat us to the ground. Grabbed my friend's long gray hair and pulled her across the sidewalk," said Oakland resident Barbara Hoffer.

Hoffer was one of those in attendance.

The 74-year-old came to talk about her experience getting assaulted and robbed in the city's Temescal neighborhood. And she wasn't alone.

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

Oakland Police Department announced multiple arrests of individuals associated to a carjacking series.

While seemingly everyone in this meeting had something to say, one of the main concerns among those in attendance was what do with juveniles who commit crimes.

"All counties across the state have been asked to decriminalize young people, and so our county has adopted that as a policy," said District Attorney Pamela Price.

Statistics from OPD show that from the week ending July 23, crime is up 26% in Oakland year-over-year.

Many in the audience demanded answers from the DA as well as the police over what they're doing to stop the violence.

One case that came up several times was the arrest of a group nine children police say were connected to 35 different robberies.

MORE: How Oakland's mayor, police department plan to prevent crimes involving young people in city

"A form of consequences established that doesn't always involve incarceration, but does involve and carry some punitive damages that requires the person to be responsible for their actions," said Martin Reese.

While there were a variety of different viewpoints at Thursday's meeting, there was one thing everyone could agree on: they want to feel safe in their neighborhoods.

"The people who are taking women, particularly older women, assaulting them among other crimes, have to have consequences. It's ridiculous," Hoffer said.

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