Police in Oakland, California, rallied on Saturday afternoon in a call to end the city’s gun violence.
The “Stand Up for a Safe Oakland” rally, organized by the Oakland Police Department, attracted more than 200 families to commemorate the 71 homicides that the city has experienced this year, according to The Intercept’s Lee Fang.
A surreal moment in Oakland. About 200 mostly black families rally with police to call for an end to the epidemic of gun violence. Mothers at the stage mourning recently murdered children. In the back, less than a dozen mostly white Antifa protesters assembled to jeer them. pic.twitter.com/uuE9Sohhkm
— Lee Fang (@lhfang) July 10, 2021
The police department announced the rally earlier on Saturday, which took place from noon to 2 p.m. beginning at the Lake Merritt Amphitheater, as a way to “remember the 71 people who have lost their lives to violence in Oakland this year.”
“We’re losing lives at an alarming rate in Oakland,” Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong said. “We need to stand up and unite against crime.”
Oakland has seen surging crime rates in recent years, with 71 homicides so far this year and 85 homicides in all of 2020, prompting its city council to reallocate $10 million to the police department in April after an earlier $25 million cut in funding.
“Those millions of dollars were resources. They were officers,” Armstrong said.
Representatives for the Oakland Police Department did not immediately respond to the Washington Examiner’s request for comment.
Other cities throughout the United States have experienced similar rising crime rates. On Tuesday, New York became the first city to declare a disaster emergency on gun violence.
“We went from one epidemic to another epidemic. We went from COVID to the epidemic of gun violence,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said when announcing the executive order. “More people are dying of gun violence than of COVID.”
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Although New York was once the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, the state’s COVID-19 cases have dropped in recent months.
The Fourth of July holiday weekend proved especially deadly in other parts of the country. At least 104 Chicagoans were shot from Friday to Monday, 19 of whom were killed, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.