The Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce is calling on California Governor Gavin Newsom to declare a state of emergency over crime in Oakland. They want the government to deploy the California Highway patrol to fight crime in the city. The Asian community in California has brought national attention to several Black-on-Asian crimes in Chinatown, which they consider to be anti-Asian hate crimes.
Between 2017 and 2019, Oakland saw its lowest homicide rates in over fifty years. The homicides rates peaked in 1992 when the city was 43% Black. Today, Blacks only make up about 26%. Latinos have seen their percentage of the population double from 13 to 26%. The Asian percentage has remained constant at about 15%.
Historically, a very high percentage of homicides in Oakland have been committed by Black males. A 2013 report from the city shows that 74.4% of homicide victims and 84.4% of known suspects were Black that year. The steep decline in the overall Black population has contributed to lowering the homicides rate during the past three decades. There are about a third fewer Black resident today than in the early 90s.
However, the city saw a 36% surge in homicides in 2020. During the first six months of 2021, homicides in Oakland were up another 30% over the same time period last year.
The Oakland police department says actual gunfire is up 69% over the same time period in 2020. The cops have confiscated 727 guns.
1992: 165 homicides all-time record (estimated population 378k, 43.7 homicides per 100k)
2019: 75 homicides (estimated population 433k, 17.3 homicides per 100k)
2020: 102 homicides (estimated population 434k, 23.5 homicides per 100k)
For 2021, Oakland is on track to meet or exceed a major spike that occurred in 2012.
Black on Black murders remains, by far, the most common type of murder in Oakland. However, there have also been multiple non-Black victims killed by Black perpetrators in Oakland in 2021.