'We all want to feel safer': Neighbors demand action from OPD after toddler injured, violence spike

ByLena Howland KGO logo
Thursday, May 18, 2023
Neighbors demand action from Oakland police after spike in violence
The public safety meeting comes just a day after a 15-month-old child was hit by shrapnel in an attempted armed robbery.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Wednesday night, Oakland City Council President Nikki Fortunato Bas held a heated community meeting with Oakland Police after a recent spike in violence.

INTERACTIVE: Take a look at the ABC7 Neighborhood Safety Tracker

Oakland police officials were there to give an update on their strategy and hear the concerns of neighbors in the Grand Lake neighborhood.

"I'm tired of the violence," Peter Belanger, an Oakland resident said.

Belanger is just one of hundreds that gave up their Wednesday night to demand answers.

RELATED: 15-month-old injured after gun discharges during attempted robbery in Oakland, police say

A toddler was hit by shrapnel when a robber fired a gun in an attempted robbery Tuesday in the Trestle Glen neighborhood of Oakland, police said.

This public safety meeting comes just a day after a 15-month-old child was hit by shrapnel in an attempted armed robbery.

Police say two men tried to steal the nanny's purse on her 10 a.m. walk with the child.

"I walk around the neighborhood a lot and I greet all of my friends that I know and not so many people are walking early in the morning," Bari Robinson, an Oakland resident said. "I know I don't want to alone."

The meeting filled the Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church to near-capacity. It was called by Bas with the Grand Lake Neighborhood Crime Prevention Council, all to engage with Oakland police officials.

"We all want to feel safer," Bas said. "We've had some violent assaults in broad daylight in residential areas and so people are angry, people are fearful. I share that and I'm here because I want to work together with our community to be part of a solution."

MORE: Oakland bakery owner dies from injuries after being dragged by suspect's car during robbery: Family

One of the first things officials from community members in the Q&A portion of the meeting was a call for more cameras to be peppered throughout these neighborhoods.

"In the areas where the community wants cameras, where we are seeing the data go up, that is something we're looking at," Bas said.

Oakland Police say robberies are up by three percent this year, particularly impacted areas being Lakeshore, Eastlake and the Fruitvale district.

"Leading up to this point, we did identify several robbery groups that are working the city of Oakland and they are targeting neighborhoods just like this," Deputy James Beere, the Oakland Deputy Chief of Police said. "They're actively focusing on people that they believe, may be easy targets."

Wednesday night, police committing to having more officers in this area with more patrol cars and some added help from their traffic unit, with Council President Bas, vowing to hold them accountable.

"I don't know where it starts, I don't know where it ends, it just needs to happen," Belanger said.

Now Streaming 24/7 Click Here

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