Vigil for fallen Oakland officer, protest to declare state of emergency in city to be held Friday

J.R. Stone Image
Friday, January 5, 2024
Vigil for fallen officer, protest to be held in Oakland Friday
A vigil for fallen Oakland police officer Tuan Le as well as a protest to declare a state of emergency will be held on Friday.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Oakland Chinatown community members will hold a vigil for Officer Tuan Le, who was killed while on duty, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Pacific Renaissance Plaza. At 11 a.m., a rally will be held outside Oakland City Hall.

Community members there plan to demand that the mayor and city council declare a state of emergency, a move that would help speed the process in getting a permanent police chief.

MORE: Suspects in Oakland police officer murder case make first court appearance

"As someone who has lost a child, I am really tired of all the death in our city," said Donald Lacy, whose daughter Loeshe was killed in Oakland back in 1997. Lacy is reacting to what we have seen in Oakland in recent years and this past year -- a 2023 that saw a rise in robberies, burglaries, stolen vehicles, and homicides in Oakland.

There have been 126 homicides total, including a police officer.

"It's so painful to me as someone who was reared in what used to be one of the greatest cities on the planet in the mid-60s when I was a kid and in the mid-70s," he said.

On Friday, community members in Oakland will hold two events; a vigil in Chinatown for Officer Tuan Le and a rally outside of Oakland City Hall to demand that Mayor Sheng Thao and council members declare a state of emergency to help speed the process in getting a permanent police chief -- something the city has not had since last February.

"I don't need to wait until April or May for a new police chief, we have to do this a lot sooner," said Oakland Councilmember Noel Gallo.

"Remember the mayor has promised us that by the end of this year we should have a police chief or she'll be calling for a state of emergency, so I think that's the reason why many people I think some people are extremely extremely upset," says Carl Chan who is president of the Oakland Chinatown Chamber Foundation.

MORE: Oakland Police Commission to search for new chief candidates after Mayor Thao rejects all finalists

But Lacy questions the implications of what a state of emergency for residents would mean, and says it's important to get the right chief.

"I don't want to rush and hire somebody who doesn't know Oakland. It has to me be someone who is from Oakland," said Lacy.

There will be a Buddhist ceremony Friday when Officer Le is remembered in Oakland's Chinatown. Lacy believes coming together is key moving forward.

"We have to start caring for each other loving for each other being more considerate for each other," Lacy said. "I know these sounds trite to some people but it has to start with basic human decency. I wish I knew the answer, if I did I'd be promulgating it from the highest mountain, but one thing I do know - we have to do better."

Now Streaming 24/7 Click Here

If you're on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live