The city of Oakland saw a wave of violence over the Independence Day holiday weekend, said an official from the California city east of San Francisco.
Chief LeRonne Armstrong said that the Oakland Police department had to take action on seven shooting incidents in their area from Sunday night to Monday morning.
“It was 12 hours of nonstop chaos,” Armstrong told KTVU. “That is what is concerning. The level of celebratory gunfire is something we haven’t seen before.”
“Does this department need resources? Clearly, we do. We were clearly outnumbered,” he noted. “Our city has not seen this level of violence in many years.”
The announcement came a week after a press conference where Armstrong criticized the city council for redirecting around $18 million from the police budget.
The shootings started at around 6 p.m. on Sunday, leaving one person dead and several others critically wounded, police said.
Noel Gallo, a city council member, told local media that the crime witnessed over the weekend in Oakland is a “safety emergency,” according to KPIX5.
“I grew up here in Oakland and East Oakland, and it is the worst I’ve ever seen,” Gallo said. “And not only dealing with the sideshows, dealing with the fireworks, but also the violence on the streets. But the reality is that we need greater enforcement.”
He thinks that the local police should cooperate better with other authorities, including the FBI, to hold illegal guns, drugs, and fireworks in check.
Celebratory gunfire has no place in our City and there is no such thing as legal fireworks in Oakland.
OPD & @OaklandFireCA are working together to limit the impact of illegal firework activity through July 4.
To report fireworks call the Fireworks Tip Line at (510) 238-2373. pic.twitter.com/fjCUzUHlaJ
— Oakland Police Dept. (@oaklandpoliceca) July 4, 2021
“If you look at where the fireworks are coming from, the drug activity is coming from, it’s coming from outside of the city and in some cases outside the state of California,” Gallo told the news outlet.