Thursday, January 24, 2013

Alan Blueford's Family Is Still Looking for Answers

by Kyung-Jin Lee
Thu, Jan 24, 2013 at 7:00 AM

One hundred and thirty-one people were murdered in Oakland last year — that’s the highest number since 2006. Other crime is up too, but the number of officers is down. So is police response time.

OPD Sgt. Chris Bolton says those numbers have consequences. “What is lost is time and ability to immerse ourselves with community members in positive interactions,” he says. “What is lost is our opportunity and ability to attend community meetings, to take on roles in community organizations.”

While struggling to meet its responsibilities, the police department is also under pressure to reform — it narrowly avoided a federal takeover late last year. The city already has an independent police monitor; officials have also agreed to hire a court-appointed compliance director. This person will have the power to fire top OPD commanders — including Chief Howard Jordan — as well as to change police policies and practices. He or she will also take on another thorny, persistent issue: the frequency of officer-involved shootings. Since 2010, there have been at least five incidents every year.

Jeralynn Blueford is the mother of the late 18-year-old Alan Blueford — a Skyline High senior fatally shot by an Oakland officer last May.

Adam Blueford points out a bullet hole from the night his son was killed.
  • Kyung-Jin Lee
  • Adam Blueford points out a bullet hole from the night his son was killed.
“The inspector came down, gave us his card,” she said to the Oakland city council and a packed chamber a week after her son was killed. “Informed us our son was in a, I’m quoting, ‘Gun battle — a gun battle with the police.’ We’re like, ‘Not our son, this is not our son. No way.’”

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wednesday Must Read: Oakland Council Okays Bratton Contract, But Not Stop and Frisk; Council Also Approves Plans to Hire Sheriff's Deputies and Civilian Police Techs

by Robert Gammon
Wed, Jan 23, 2013 at 10:07 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The Oakland City Council voted 7-1 early this morning in support of a controversial plan to hire William Bratton — the former head of the New York and Los Angeles police departments — as a consultant to Police Chief Howard Jordan, the Trib and Chron report. However, it appears that the city will not adopt stop and frisk, an aggressive police tactic that Bratton strongly endorses. Stop and frisk was the main reason why the hiring of Bratton engendered so much debate in the city, but supporters of the Bratton contract said last night that stop and frisk, which can lead to racial profiling, was not an option for the city.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Stop and Frisk Is a Bad Idea

by Robert Gammon
Tue, Jan 22, 2013 at 12:04 PM

The proposal to hire William Bratton, the former head of the New York and Los Angeles police departments, as a consultant to OPD has generated a firestorm of controversy in Oakland. Opponents of stop and frisk are worried that city officials will adopt the controversial police tactic at Bratton’s behest and justify their decision by pointing to Bratton’s nationwide reputation for fighting crime. And if the city were to do that — it would be a major mistake.

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Tuesday Must Read: Oakland Has a History of Hiring and Then Ignoring Consultants; Councilmembers Urge Residents to Show Up At Tonight’s Meeting

by Robert Gammon
Tue, Jan 22, 2013 at 9:49 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1.The Oakland City Council is slated to debate a controversial contract tonight for William Bratton, the former head of the New York and Los Angeles police departments, but the Trib notes that the city has a history of hiring consultants and then ignoring their recommendations. In fact, the city previously hired two members of Bratton’s team to advise the Oakland Police Department, and then failed to implement several of their proposals. Mayor Jean Quan, who is pushing for the Bratton contract, has already said that the city will not adopt one of Bratton’s favorite police tactics — stop and frisk.

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Monday, January 21, 2013

Monday Must Read: Quan Says No to Stop and Frisk; Obama Talks of Gay Rights, Gun Control, and Climate Change

by Robert Gammon
Mon, Jan 21, 2013 at 9:53 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Oakland Mayor Jean Quan told the Chronicle that she opposes stop and frisk, even though she wants the city council to approve a $250,000 contract for the biggest proponent of the controversial police tactic — William Bratton. Quan said the city needs Bratton’s expertise on CompStat, a crime-data tracking system he developed, and that he won’t be establishing policies — such as stop and frisk — for OPD. The council is set to vote on Bratton’s contract tomorrow night.

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Friday, January 18, 2013

Same High-Capacity Magazine Linked to Two Oakland Murders

by Ali Winston
Fri, Jan 18, 2013 at 3:51 PM

Earlier this week, we noted that high-capacity magazines have flooded the streets of Oakland. And newly filed court documents reveal that two of the four murders in the Oakland gang war that erupted last Friday were committed with the same AR-15 assault-rifle outfitted with same high-capacity drum magazine. Similar devices are increasingly fueling the carnage in the ongoing feud between Case Gang and Money Team, two groups that have subsumed other gangs from across the city under their aegis.

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Breaking: University of California President Mark Yudof Is Stepping Down

by Ellen Cushing
Fri, Jan 18, 2013 at 1:13 PM

Whoaaa: Mark Yudof, who has served as President of the University of California system for the last four and a half years, will step down August 31 due to "taxing" health problems, according to a statement. The legal scholar, former University of Texas chancellor, and Little Monster presided over the ten-campus UC system during an inarguably tumultuous period that included widespread student protests, a budget crisis, and massive tuition and fee hikes. According again to the statement, once he steps down he will begin a hopefully-less-stressful job teaching law at UC Berkeley.

yudof.jpg

The full text of the statement is below:

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Friday Must Read: Fees to Rise for UC Grad Students But Not Undergrads; Deregulation Caused Phone Prices to Spike

by Robert Gammon
Fri, Jan 18, 2013 at 9:56 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Student fees likely are going to rise again next fall for graduate students at the University of Calfiornia, but not for undergrads, the LA Times reports. UC regents decided not to increase undergraduate tuition at the request of Governor Jerry Brown, who delivered last week the first balanced budget in the state in a decade. However, fees for professional degrees, such as law and nursing, likely will go up again next year at the ten-campus system — but not by as much as previously feared.

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Thursday Must Read: Oakland Gang Violence Spreads to South Bay; Bratton Determined to Work with OPD

by Robert Gammon
Thu, Jan 17, 2013 at 9:44 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Members of a street gang that police say is responsible for Oakland’s violent crime wave are also prime suspects in a deadly home-invasion robbery in the wealthy South Bay suburb of Monte Sereno, the Chron reports, citing law enforcement sources. Members of the Money Team gang in Oakland allegedly robbed and murdered Raveesh Kumra, a South Bay millionaire, after getting intelligence on his home from a prostitute. Las enforcement sources told the Chron that they believe the Money Team is responsible for several home-invasion robberies around the Bay.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wednesday Must Read: Obama Announces Gun Control Proposal; Oakland Council Committees Okay Crime-Fighting Plans

by Robert Gammon
Wed, Jan 16, 2013 at 10:11 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. President Obama today unveiled his proposal for tightening the nation’s gun laws, and his plan includes legislation that would reinstitute a national ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and require universal background checks on weapons’ buyers, The New York Times reports. Locally, Oakland police have said repeatedly that city streets are flooded with assault weapons and high-capacity magazines that are purchased in neighboring states, such as Nevada, that have no bans. Obama’s proposal would close this loophole, but it is expected to be met by fierce opposition from Congressional Republicans.

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