Human Rights Examiner
November 11, 2011 – Like this? Subscribe to get instant updates.
Police have confirmed the shooting death of a young man in a gunfight that broke out near 12 Street BART police station, adjacent to Occupy Oakland camp at Frank Ogawa Plaza Thursday evening, the second night the city turned the lights out at the camp. Although investigators say the fight was not between protesting human rights workers at the camp, police say due to the incident, protesters must dissolve the camp, a city councilman is blaming the mayor, the mayor says she wants the camp dissolved.
Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan confirmed to ABC7 News that the shooting victim in a gunfight that broke out near BART police station and Occupy Oakland has passed away from his injuries.
“Six gunshots rang out shortly before 5 p.m. several feet from the 12th Street BART station adjacent to the plaza where Occupy protesters have set up camp,” reports ABC7.
The human rights Occupy protesters were the first to administer first aid to victims according to ABC News.
An acting spokesperson for the human rights defender protesters told ABC7 that maybe the victim had been hiding nearby from a person or a group of people at the encampment shortly before the incident.
City councilman Ignacio de la Fuente said in a phone interview with ABC7, “I have been very vocal on the fact that this cannot continue. I think fear has become a reality. This mayor has got to take responsibility for that.”
De La Fuente said the Occupy encampment “does a lot of harm to the city and the individuals, and they should just pack and leave — and if not, we should take whatever action is necessary.”
The Occupy protesters formed a human chain around the victim until help arrived and are holding a candlelight vigil this evening.
In a statement issued Thursday night, Oakland Mayor Quan said whether the incident was related or unrelated to Occupy Oakland, she wants the protesters to dissolve the encampment. The Mayor said in the Statement:
“Tragically, a young man was shot at 14th and Broadway tonight. But whether a murder occurs here or at 98th and International, I call on all Oaklanders to demand peace and reject violence anywhere. Whether this incident is related to the encampment, or is an unrelated act, it is unacceptable.
“We heard that fights early in the day were broken up by people on Frank Ogawa Plaza. Tonight’s incident underscores the reason why the encampment must end. I call on elected leaders who are clamoring for an immediate raid to put forward a plan that does not cause additional injury to people, property and our reputation, or result in another re-occupation,” Quan said.
“I urge them to join me, the city administrator, police chief and community leaders in implementing a plan to remove the encampment.”
“An ABC7 photographer and another individual were assaulted when they attempted to gather video of the shooting scene.”
The mayor made an impromptu visit at Occupy Oakland when council president and members, business people, and faith leaders gathered at Lake Merritt Band Shell and “promised to find a way to boot the camp if the mayor will not do it,” according to Mercury News.
Council President Larry Reid spoke about all the progress the city has made to revitalize its downtown is being threatened by the encampment that he alleged “continues to be hostile to city officials and a threat to public safety, Mercury News reported.
“He said the violence that scarred downtown Oakland after last week’s general strike cost more than $1 million.”
The protesters then drowned his talk with chants, “Mic check!” and “We are the 99 percent of Oakland and the Bay Area!” plus promises to defend their camp if evicted again.
Mercury News reports that Debra Grabelle, a camp medical tent worker, said she worries that demand to end the camp would “bring violence into our community.”
“I think it’s wrong what they are doing. … Ignacio De La Fuente is my representative. I want him to help support the movement, not undermine it,” she said.
“More and more people are camping out in the plaza, not less,” he said.
Wednesday, the city turned off lights in the part of the plaza that contains the encampment.
KTVU News reported Thursday night, “Thurday evening, the lights were still out and a number of protesters at the crime scene were angrily yelling, “Turn the lights on,” saying that the darkness leads to more crime.
Watch Oakland North’s complete coverage of Occupy Oakland here.
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