Oakland is currently the third-most dangerous city in the United States according to Forbes. But why? Because the Oakland Police department does not have positive relations with Oakland residents. These relational problems lead to unnecessary force, police brutality, and violence. In the past, many have tried to make police relations better- such as the Black Panther Party- who have gone against Oakland Police because of the way they were abusing their power against them. People have noticed that no matter what events goes on (that tries to make police relations in Oakland better), nothing happens. Until a better solution is figured out, it is important to keep police officers in check with what they do on a daily basis and if they abuse their power.
According to The Mercury News, on July 7, 2016, they interviewed some people who were protesting on I-880 (a highway). One of the people they interviewed was a man named Moody who was a motorcyclist driving on I-880 and revved his engine in support of the rally because he wanted to ‘be a part of it’. “I wish there was something more I can do. I feel a bit hopeless not knowing what to do, as the people in my neighborhood get treated so differently than I do,” Moody had said. This shows that the police abuses their power by treating other people differently- more or less because of their race. This may also bring up questions of whether the OPD (Oakland Police Department) are using their power responsibly- which supports the idea of keeping the police in check.
To add on, an article from KRON4 news that was written by Aaron Pero on June 17, 2016, there was a protest outside of the OPD about them (police officers) being guilty of human trafficking and statutory rape of an 18-year old girl going by the name of Celeste Guap- who has had sexual relationships with many police officers in Oakland and around the bay area- such as two San Francisco police officers- and one of them used to be an Oakland officer. The Libby Schaaf, Oakland mayor, called for an investigation into a new police criminal misconduct case on the matter. In a press release, she quoted, “-the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office will be handling an investigation into alleged criminal misconduct by a member of the Oakland Police Department (OPD).” This supports the idea of keeping police officers in check of daily activities and if they are misusing the law against others- as proof, they, meaning other officials, only check in or investigate the OPD when there is a situation going on- such as a protest or rally.
Although some people may say that keeping police officers in check would not do anything, I would disagree as keeping police officers in check in NOT a solution, but a temporary one- one that could be a possibility to open minds and create any ideas.
So in conclusion, the OPD should be kept in check of what they do on a day to day basis and if they abuse their power.
Photo by Artondra Hall
Photo by Artondra Hall