A tragedy, and hopefully a wake-up call for OPD

Oakland Post editor Chauncey Bailey was murdered this morning in downtown Oakland.

This is, of course, a terrible tragedy. Those who knew Mr. Bailey can speak to that better than I can.

What I want to comment on is what Oakland police chief Wayne Tucker told the Chronicle:

Members of the Police Department’s command staff, including Chief Wayne Tucker, were on scene this morning. Tucker, who arrived around 9 a.m. and did not stay long, said he was there because of the unusual nature of the killing, noting that it occurred downtown and in broad daylight.

OPD needs to wake up and stop pretending that all crime in this city happens in the middle of the night or is between gang members. A few weeks ago, a co-worker of mine was hospitalized after being beaten to a bloody pulp by a group of teenagers on Broadway in downtown Oakland in broad daylight for no reason other than their own entertainment.

I wrote about this last week, in response to comments from an OPD Sergeant that “Homicide is still a rare event,” and “The fact that we have had a few during the day recently doesn’t necessarily make it a trend” and Ron Dellums’s deputy chief of staff’s assertion that the “main thing” needed to reduce crime is “educating residents.”

I do not think it is appropriate to sensationalize crime problems. Comments on the Trib and the Chronicle equating Oakland to Bogata or Mexico City are hyperbole. But I find it far more disturbing that those responsible for ensuring public safety routinely display such willful blindness to the dangers our residents face daily. Wayne Tucker, the OPD, Ron Dellums, the entire City Council, and District Attorney Tom Orloff need to wake up.