The Oakland Police Department has produced a report on the race and ethnicity of people who get pulled over by Oakland officers, and results showed that 62 percent of the detentions were of those of African-American descent.
28 percent of Oakland residents are African-American. However, African-Americans made up 83 percent of the 12,161 suspects investigated by OPD for various crimes including homicide (CA Penal Code 187) , attempted murder, robberies, assault with a firearm(CA Penal code 245) and other charges. The data is based on descriptions given by crime witnesses and victims.
Any discussion of crime in Oakland should start with these statistics. These statistics show that there is an astounding racial disparity with regard to crime in Oakland. Whether this is as a result of endemic racism, improper police tactics including racial profiling or entrenched socio-economic disparities, clearly something is wrong with this picture and it must change:
- Of the 9,491 robbery suspects last year, 8,228 were described as African-American.
- Of the 1,439 people suspected in assaults with weapons with other than firearms 1,034 were reported to be African-American.
- Of the 1,091 firearm assault suspects, 844 suspects were described as African-American.
- Of the 32 suspects arrested last year for homicides, 27 were African-American.
Also not lost on the irony of it all is the fact that African-Americans comprised 67 of the city's 90 homicide victims in 2013 and were most likely to be the victims in attempted homicides and assaults with firearms.
Much more work needs to be done to remedy these alarming statistics, and realities of life in Oakland.