Dear Oakland Community,
Starting tonight, and potentially through the weekend and into next week, we anticipate seeing planned and spontaneous demonstrations in response to the officer-involved killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. We are aware of a planned protest at 8:00 tonight at Frank Ogawa Plaza.
I’d like to share what Mayor Libby Schaaf and Oakland Police Chief Manheimer have said in response to Mr. Floyd’s death and in anticipation of tonight’s demonstration:
Mayor Libby Schaaf:
Demonstrations are a manifestation of justified outrage caused by systemic racism and injustice. Free speech is part of Oakland’s DNA and we will create a safe space for all people to voice their anger and demand justice. The City of Oakland is committed to addressing the impacts of structural racism by striving to build fairness and justice into everything we do. It has taken hundreds of years to get to this point, but we are determined to undo structural inequities by focusing on fixes that advance racial equity. We must both respond meaningfully to the immediate flash points related to the travesty of state inflicted violence, and simultaneously take action to address the ongoing unfairness and lack of opportunity that continues to harm Black, Indigenous, Latino and certain Asian residents in our City, as we build a beloved community right now.
Oakland Police Chief Susan Manheimer:
The men and woman of the Oakland Police Department are deeply disturbed at what we observed in the video involving George Floyd and the Minneapolis Police Department.
It is paramount for us to continue to build trust and relationships with our community members and this reflects on all of us in our profession. We at the Oakland Police Department train and practice that all of our officers treat every individual with dignity and respect.
We stand with our community in denouncing this incident and all incidents of police brutality. We stand with all in our community who have traditionally been marginalized, oppressed and who have been harmed by our systems and institutions. We extend our deepest condolences to George Floyd and his family.
You can watch the video of Chief Manheimer’s remarks about planned demonstrations recorded earlier today: https://abc7news.com/6219682/
We are providing this update in our effort to keep you informed. Please share this information with your employees, neighbors and tenants.
We have mobilized an experienced team to provide a safe venue for the expression of outrage about police violence while ensuring that that we keep the demonstrators, our community, and our businesses safe. OPD has increased staffing to provide safe space for the demonstrations to occur and will facilitate free speech while maintaining public safety.
OPD uses a free, web-based application called NIXLE to provide timely updates to our community about traffic disruptions or suggested alternate transportation routes. If you have not yet signed up for NIXLE, we encourage you to do so. Text your zip code to 888777 to opt-in, or visit www.nixle.com.