Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Chip Johnson is an Irresponsible Journalist for the SF Chronicle.

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Chip Johnson wrote an article on crime in Oakland that I have major beef with.


He calls himself drawing attention to the lack of police presence in the well heeled neighborhoods and how long it takes for them to respond, in the event that they do.

What he failed to do was realize how biased, dangerous, racist his descriptions of Oakland's "shadowy characters".

With Oakland police resources stretched to the limit from the patrol to the investigations divisions, it's not surprising that citizens all over the city are feeling the pinch in their neighborhoods.

The city's spike in homicides, which last year reached the highest number in more than a decade, grabbed headlines. But at the same time, residents and business owners across Oakland are finding that they can't count on officers responding to their calls for help -- and their patience is wearing thin.

There has always been a tug-of-war between residents in the city's hills who clamor for more protection from property crimes and those living in the flatlands areas with the highest violent crime, which is where police recently have been focusing many of their resources.

Now people in both areas are alarmed by rising crime that police don't seem to be able to handle.

Residents' experiences run the gamut. A woman on an Adams Point street crowned a would-be burglar with a wine bottle to stop him from entering her Harrison Street home, while a software consultant in tonier Crocker Highlands successfully discouraged a knife-wielding robber last week.

Ken Marcus was walking home from a bus stop when he saw a man who didn't fit in with the surroundings. Casting the thought off as paranoia, he turned and started to make his way up a steep grade.

How does someone not fit into their surroundings. Was he Black? A crackhead. A d-boy? Was he pusing a buggy? Did he have locks and a white T. This is statement is so irresponsbile as a journalist. So loaded.
But when Marcus turned around, the man he suspected doubled back on him and confronted him, weapon in hand.

With Oakland police resources stretched to the limit from the patrol to the investigations divisions, it's not surprising that citizens all over the city are feeling the pinch in their neighborhoods.

Implicit in this statement is that crime is reasonable and tolerable in some neighborhoods and forbidden, out of character and intolerable in others. Even while this may be a TRUE, as a journalist you have an obligation and duty to be mindful that you are talking about communities with HUMAN BEINGS, with children and families that live there now, and have been living there for years.


The city's spike in homicides, which last year reached the highest number in more than a decade, grabbed headlines. But at the same time, residents and business owners across Oakland are finding that they can't count on officers responding to their calls for help -- and their patience is wearing thin.

There has always been a tug-of-war between residents in the city's hills who clamor for more protection from property crimes and those living in the flatlands areas with the highest violent crime, which is where police recently have been focusing many of their resources.

Now people in both areas are alarmed by rising crime that police don't seem to be able to handle.

Residents' experiences run the gamut. A woman on an Adams Point street crowned a would-be burglar with a wine bottle to stop him from entering her Harrison Street home, while a software consultant in tonier Crocker Highlands
successfully discouraged a knife-wielding robber last week.

Ken Marcus was walking home from a bus stop when he saw a man who didn't fit in with the surroundings. Casting the thought off as paranoia, he turned and started to make his way up a steep grade.

What the f*ck is don't fit the surroundings. Was he black? Did he have on a hoodie? Was he a crack head? Was he homeless. This is so loaded.

Marcus stepped away from the man and into Santa Ray Avenue as he demanded money.

"Once I got enough distance, I could either run or stand my ground," Marcus said Monday.

He challenged the man -- then threatened him at the top of his lungs and scared him back into a waiting car.

"I wasn't thinking of my stuff or the $20 in my pocket," Marcus said. "I was thinking this guy wants to hurt me, maybe kill me. I was afraid for my safety."

The kicker came later, when Marcus walked home and called police. They showed up 15 minutes later and took a report -- and one of them remarked that it was rare to get calls in that neighborhood.

The incident made Marcus wonder if his neighborhood was the newest spot on the bandits' radar screen after historically having been largely untouched by the city's crime.

"It's like Halloween, where kids go into certain neighborhoods to get the good stuff, except now it's happening with crime," he said.

Awww. The itty bitty baby is getting a taste of how trill the town is. Unless YOU do something to address the underlying issues, this is only the begining. I hate when people get hella surprised when the calamaties that affect the hood creep into their lives and they have the nerve to be SCARED. Ha.

There have been shootings on Lakeshore Avenue, near Lake Merritt, an the attempted robbery on Santa Ray Avenue, where Mayor Ron Dellums' mother lived for years, and shootings in Adams Point.

No matter how you slice it, the perception of crime in Oakland, like a bad moon, is rising again. There are unexpected locations for random violence in Oakland, and a barometer reading suggests more rough times ahead.

There are two cases among scores of such crimes in recent months that illustrate the frustration that real, would-be and near-miss victims experience in their dealings with officers who are required to rank the threat level of each service call and respond in an appropriate manner.

Where is the mention of how the police interact w/ the non monied? The article would have been that much better if he would have interviewed some working class folks that live on High Street or Seminary or Fruitvale. You would infer from this article that the police are actually being effective in the flatlands. But naw. If the Lake got crime, then thats what matters.

In the first incident, an unidentified woman who was attacked at Oakland's Fruitvale BART Station on Jan. 25 jumped on a train to evade her assailant, rode to Fremont and reported the attack to authorities.

When Oakland police were notified of the incident, they asked Fremont police to take the report because they had no one to send. An attack at a public transit stop is a pretty serious crime, right?

This should be of paramount concern to Dellums and could well define his first term in office. Until a plan to reduce such violence is hatched, the flow of middle-class African Americans from this city will continue. It's an emigration that has already prompted calls for meetings of the largest black churches in the city, said Bishop Bob Jackson, pastor of Acts Full Gospel Church, one of Oakland's largest black churches.

Jackson said losses had been felt in all the city's big congregations, including his own church, which he estimated had seen more than 300 former members move out of the area because of the growing violence.

Negroes been moving out of the Oakland to Antioch, Atlanta and Vegas for a hot minute now, and it is not about to stop.

Public perception may not accurately reflect the outcomes of the war on crime in Oakland, but it still provides a sense of the general scene. If all that holds true, the city needs to present a plan for shoring up its short-staffed police department and devise some strategy to adequately address serious felony crimes before public confidence falls through the floor.

This statement presumes that public confidence of the Lake dwellers is all that is relevent. What about folks in the lower bottom, 11/5, dog town, etc? I would imagine that the rationale is that "they hood n*ggas anyways, so they use to hella crime".


Chip Johnson's column appears on Tuesdays and Fridays. E-mail him at chjohnson@sfchronicle.com.

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That was a fun post.

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2 comments:

.m. said...

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Dj Triple Threat said...

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