Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong and the head of the city’s Violence Prevention Department headline a rally of city and community leaders in Lake Merritt to speak out against the rise in violence and stand up remember the many recent homicide victims in the city.
Announcing “Stand Up for a Safe Oakland,” which begins at noon Saturday at the Lake Merritt Amphitheater on Lake Merritt Boulevard between 12th Street and 1st Avenue, Oakland Police said there had been 71 homicides so far in 2021.
There were 85 homicides in 2020 and 68 in 2018, the lowest annual figure since 1999, according to a city report. At this time, the city attributed the decrease to a sustained collaboration of the police, the city and community leaders.
Saturday’s announcement did not mention a current strategy.
Oakland’s highest homicide record was in 1992, at 175, but the average number of homicides each year from 1984 to 1995 was 133, according to a report from the US Department of Justice. If homicides were to continue at the current average rate for the remainder of 2021, there could be 135 murders by the end of December.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation Uniform Crime Report shows that Oakland, with a population of 434,036, recorded 5,520 violent crimes in 2019, up slightly from previous years.