OAKLAND (KPIX) - It was another violent weekend in the City of Oakland, highlighted by a 10-hour stretch of illegal activity including a deadly officer involved shooting, murder, brazen robberies and illegal sideshows. Now, Oakland police say they have a plan to crack down on crime.
The violence seems to be getting worse every weekend and officers say they are even caught off guard by the escalated use of guns.
At a press conference Monday, reporters asked Chief LeRonne Armstrong about the brazenness of the suspects.
"I think they have learned over the pandemic year that they haven't been held in custody for the possession of firearms and the use of firearms," Chief Armstrong replied. "So I do think the criminal justice failure in that way because we haven't held very dangerous people in custody for very long so now it's not intimidating to come out and drive with a firearm and it's not intimidating to use those firearms because there's is not that much accountability right now."
Just over the weekend, hundreds of cars in roving robbery caravans engaging in shootouts with security guards and officers. A carjacking and pursuit ended with officers shooting and killing the suspect and Oakland suffered its 124th homicide.
Beginning Thanksgiving weekend, the Chief has pledged to deploy tactical teams throughout the city and has extended staffing. But he says he also needs the city's help.
"I'm asking council members to step up and start having a conversation about the loss of life in this city. Beyond the politics of whether you support police or not, there is a clear problem in this city," he said.
Councilmember Loren Taylor, who opposed reducing staffing for the police department, says he hears the call for the council to step up. The council voted this year to freeze police officer positions starting next summer. Councilmember Taylor says he's going to ask council to amend the vote.
"I am 100% behind unfreezing those positions," said Taylor. "I didn't think they were wise in the first place because the underlying assumptions on freezing those positions were that we were not going to need them."
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