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Alarming Statistics from Oakland Police Department on African-Americans

Posted by Seth Chazin | May 15, 2014 | 2 Comments

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.

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About the Author

Seth Chazin

Seth P. Chazin has aggressively defended clients in thousands of felony and misdemeanor cases for over 30 years. He has extensive experience representing criminal defendants in federal and state court, while handling both state and federal appeals as well.


willie Reply

Posted May 15, 2014 at 18:07:44

Seth, as a proud, progressive, TET survivor, I thank you for being extremely courageous with this well written expose’ of our defenders albeit—-maligned. We spoke a few years ago at the Y and I had no idea that you were a true advocate of justice and a practicioner of the TRUTH. Proud to know you BROTHER!

Seth Chazin Reply

Posted May 16, 2014 at 13:59:52

We need to continue to fight the government any time it attempts to abrogate our constitutional rights. I see this as my job.

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“The death penalty is a lie, a misguided mistake born of anger and frustration. Capital punishment has become a perverse monument to inequality, to how some lives matter and others do not. It is a violent example of how we protect and value the rich and abandon and devalue the poor. The death penalty is a grim, disturbing shadow formed by the legacy of racial apartheid and bias against the poor that condemns the disfavored among us, but corrupts us all. It’s the perverse symbol elected officials use to strengthen their ‘tough on crime’ reputations and distract us from confronting the causes of violence. It is finally the enemy of grace, redemption and all of us who recognize that each person is more than their worse act.”
- Bryan Stevenson