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Dear Mayor Schaaf:

We are choosing to write to you, the mayor because you have the most power in the city of Oakland and can help us with our issue. You have helped the citizens of Oakland unite when you told Oakland residents that ICE was in Oakland (The Washington Post), that shows that you care for the people and try to help as much as you can. We believe that if we send this letter to you, you will do the best that you can your power to make the OPD less likely of police brutality by connecting with the community.

The issue that my team and I are doing a proposal on is police brutality. Police brutality was created by racism and the people who were affected the most are people of color. Police brutality affects the community because then there is no trust between the Oakland police and Oakland community. An example of that is, “Barnett said the police took awhile to arrive, and when they finally showed up, “witnesses” dispersed back into their homes. “No one had anything to say to those cops. I mean I don’t blame them, because you are pretty much a target if you’re seen talking to the cops,” said Barnett.”(Nailah Morgan). In Oakland, there is no protection from the suspects or others because the trust between both Oakland police and the Oakland community has not been built. By the Oakland police building a bond with the community that they are serving and protecting they need to connect with the community, by doing so crime rates may decrease over the years. Mayor in the past, Oakland has lost money because the community has been suing the OPD because they have experienced police brutality. POLITICO magazines have stated in one of their articles, “The city ultimately paid more than a million dollars to settle lawsuits over aggressive police tactics”(POLITICO). If the Oakland police were taught less violent tactics, then the city would stop losing money. Crime rates would decrease because the community would have a bond with the OPD to tell them what had happened as witnesses. Oakland student dropout rates would decrease because Oakland schools can be supplied with better school material with the tax money that would not be used to pay police brutality cases. The people who benefit from this inequity are corrupted racist cops and the level of oppression that police brutality is impacting is institutional and interpersonal. Our allies are people of color, politicians against police brutality, you, and Caucasians who want police brutality to never exist. Our opponents are people that think and act like Trump, racist corrupted cops, and society.

In the past, tactics of social have been used to address this issue. People would protest and use propaganda to make the community aware that they will not sit around and let the Oakland police break the oath that they took, “to protect and serve”. An example was when “Sharhanda Thomas took his protest to the turnstiles at the Fruitvale BART station after a funeral for Oscar Grant III, a 22-year-old man killed at the station” (The New York Times). Oscar Grant III was killed on New Year’s Day by Officer Johannes Mehserle and when the video of the incident went public people were outraged. Plenty of people protested exactly like Sharhanda Thomas, he is an example of the courage that people now need in order to stop this issue, this inequity. With our proposal, we are using community organizing to be able to come together as a community and connect with one another so that there is no hate between the Oakland community and Oakland police.

Our plan has many steps. The first step we will take is to send a letter to the Mayor to try to convince her to have an event so that the Oakland police can connect with the Oakland community so that the rates of police brutality go down. We need the support of the Mayor so that we can have the event so that the police and the community can bond.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and we hope you could get back to us so that we can be able to connect the Oakland community with OPD so that crime rates can decrease.

Sincerely,

Alex, Aaron, Alberto

Annotated Bibliography

“Cops and Community Search for Trust in Oakland’s Most Violent Neighborhoods.” Oakland North, 19 Oct. 2015, 12:43pm, oaklandnorth.net/2015/10/19/cops-and-community-search-for-trust-in-oaklands-most-violent-neighborhoods/.

Oakland North is made of Berkeley students who want to pursue their career as journalists and for that to happen they need to practice on their information is as accurate as they can. Their articles cannot be inaccurate because the journalists that are posting the articles are pursuing their careers, they are doing something that they love, so they have no reason to just do a horrible job and have inaccurate information. The future journalists are doing the opposite, they are having the most accurate information and doing the best they can to write the best article they can about their issue.

Flynn, Meagan. “Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf Tipped off Immigrants about ICE Raid and Isn’t Sorry She Did.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 28 Feb. 2018, www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2018/02/28/oakland-mayor-libby-schaaf-tipped-off-immigrants-about-ice-raid-and-isnt-sorry-she-did/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.715ce8c382ec.

The Washington Post is a credible source because all of their articles are about issues that are sensitive and big. For them to make a huge mistake on one of their articles or make it seem like they are making fun of the issue will destroy their brand and they will lose money. So for them to do that would be unreasonable because they have to much at stake.

JOHNSON, SCOTT C., et al. “How a Dirty Police Force Gets Clean.” About Us, www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/03/oakland-police-reform-115552.

POLITICO has always had 100% accurate information about the issues they publish and have never been inaccurate. Their brand depends on the accuracy of their information without it they would just be a brand that is posting articles that may have accurate information but no one will trust them because their information was inaccurate once.

McKinley, Jesse. “In California, Protests After Man Dies at Hands of Transit Police.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 8 Jan. 2009, www.nytimes.com/2009/01/09/us/09oakland.html.

The New York Times is one of the most trustworthy newspapers because all the issues that they publish about are serious issues and they are always accurate with their information. For them to publish information that is inaccurate in any way possible would be a huge downfall for the company, they would lose not only money but respect also.

 

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CC BY-SA 4.0 Oakland Police Department Bond with the Oakland Community by Alberto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

9 Comments
  1. Christian 3 weeks ago

    I really think talking about this topic is super super important especially in Oakland because you always see police brutality online and most of the time targeting people of color. P.s. Hey Beto 😉

  2. Flavio 3 weeks ago

    Hello my name is Flavio Ayon and i’m a student at Unity High in Oakland. After reading your blog post I have to strongly agree with the part of the passage where you say “Our allies are people of color, politicians against police brutality, you, and Caucasians who want police brutality to never exist. Our opponents are people that think and act like Trump, racist corrupted cops, and society”. The reason I strongly agree with this part is most people believe a certain race is being targeted or is the one targeting other races but in fact all races have different people with different opinions. A question I have for you is do you think police officers should be punished equally like civilians or have a lesser consequence.

  3. Andrea 3 weeks ago

    Dear Alberto, Alejandro and Aaron

    This is a great topic to talk about, I liked how you guys connected all the cases and also ICE since most of our community is immigrant. I liked how you guys focused in Oakland and give statistics, also how you guys used pathos and ethos. But sometimes the Police doesn’t have a choice but I get that violence most of the time it’s not the solution, also the justice it’s not fair most of the time. But the question that I have it’s, Did the mayor have read this yet?

    Sincerely,

    Andrea Fonseca

  4. Jairo 3 weeks ago

    I really liked the connection with police brutality cases and schools. The reason some kids drop out is because the school doesn’t have enough resources to aid the students and provide them with what they need to become successful. this lack of resources is due to the lack of tax money that the government fails to provide since they keep getting sued for police brutality cases.

  5. Cruz Leslie 3 weeks ago

    This is a very important topic that people should be aware of and I’m glad you guys choose this to write about. It shows you guys want to take action and make a difference which I believe is great. And have you sent any letter to the mayor yet ?

  6. Bryan 4 weeks ago

    I feel like most of the time it isn’t the police fault.
    sometimes people are unjustfuly killed or jailed.
    the judicial system isn’t fair.
    life isn’t fair.

  7. Author
    Alberto 1 month ago

    Dear awesome 9th graders,

    Thank you for writing about this important topic and working against it. Do you think that there can be a world without police? Police brutality affects my life — I’ve been pulled over and unfairly jailed, my brother is often harassed — and I just feel that it’s hard to imagine a world with police without brutality. Instead, I want a world where police do not exist.

    In solidarity,
    Ms. Lisa Kelly

  8. Veronica 1 month ago

    Good thoughts on such a pertinent topic. You say that your plan has many steps but you only dive into the first step. Where will your plan take you after that? How will step 1 influence your completed plan? I appreciate your inclusion of background knowledge on the topic before explaining your plan!

    • Author
      Alberto 1 month ago

      Our plan will take us into trying to have the event of where the Oakland police and Oakland community can bond with one another at least once a year but if we can then we would want to have the event once a month every year. Step one will influence our completed plan because it will set the tone that we know what our objective is and what we want to accomplish. This could also be the first step to something that could prevent further police brutality.

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