On April 24, 2020, community concerns surrounding an incident were brought to the attention of the Oakland Police Department. Chief Manheimer has made it clear, that it is vital that we have open communication to improve relations and be responsive to our community’s concerns. Our goal is transparency and communication with our community when actions by the police have caused a concern or mistrust and we appreciate the opportunity to respond to these concerns.
On April 24, 2020, just after 7:00 PM, in the 7800 block of MacArthur Boulevard, officers detained an individual at gunpoint who they believed at the time matched the description of a person wanted in connection with a prior shooting. Further investigation by the officers determined the individual was not the shooting suspect. However, it was determined the individual had a Felony, no bail warrant for his arrest in connection with a stolen vehicle, and was ultimately transported to Dublin, Santa Rita Jail, and he has subsequently been released. Note that the Department is working closely with the Alameda County Sheriff who has assured OPD that the significant reductions in the jail population and the measures they have taken regarding the pandemic in terms of isolation and sanitation have allowed them to safely house those who aren’t eligible for release.
After several concerns were raised that this arrest was related to an adjacent East Oakland Collective safety outreach operation, the department wants to reassure the community that the focus of the police action was not the outreach workers efforts. The department supports these important efforts in our community, especially the unsheltered and those in need. The departments focus with COVID-19 is to be “reinforcers” not “enforcers” of the Health Orders. To address the complaints we received last night the Department has initiated an Internal Affairs Investigation and notified Director Alden of the CPRA to ensure all department policies and procedures were followed.
It is important to reinforce that the safety of our community is paramount, and the department strives to balance our reactive and proactive enforcement efforts to provide safety, support and services. Given the recent concerning uptick in violent shootings where injury and the tragic losses of our community members lives have occurred our Department has partnered with the Department of Violence Prevention and other services to interrupt this violence through intervention efforts and enforcement. We at OPD are committed to striking the right balance of prevention, intervention, and enforcement to ensure the safety and peace within our communities. During the Covid19 epidemic we will continue to focus on the health and wellbeing of our community and our department members.