Many Oakland police officers wrote Thanksgiving off as a total loss and will likely need to do the same this Christmas because of protesters who are relentlessly demonstrating their fury over the deaths of black men at the hands of police.
Thursday’s “No Time Off Christmas Day” protest is one more incident that will directly hinder the Oakland police force’s ability to fully protect and serve its citizens in areas where their help is greatly needed.
“No question about it. Anytime we are taken away from our regular work, it has a ripple effect in our ability to stay ahead of gun violence,” said Assistant Police Chief for the Oakland Police Department Paul Figueroa to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Oakland’s homicide rate was reportedly slated to drop by 30% this year. However, since Oct. 1 there have been 28 killings — bringing the total up to 85, just 8% below last year’s figure as of last week, the Chronicle notes. Adding insult to injury, there was a 44% increase in the number of people who were wounded in shootings since the protests in Oakland actually began.
A large number of neighborhood patrol cops have reportedly also been reassigned to protest duty. The Chronicle notes that the overtime expenses the protests are costing the Oakland Police Department are estimated to exceed $2.6 million by year’s end.
The “No Time Off Christmas Day” march starts at 5 p.m. on Wednesday at Broadway and 14th Street in downtown Oakland.
Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz