On July 28th, the city of Oakland was awarded $19.7 million in federal funds through the COPS Hiring Recovery Program that will enable Oakland to hire an additional 41 police officers through the Department of Justice. This is the largest grant of this type awarded of any municipality in the U.S. and is part of Obama’s economic stimulus package but will do nothing to make life better for the one in five families in Oakland facing dire poverty and will further escalate the war being carried out on the African and Mexican communities of Oakland.
As in Philadelphia, the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement and Uhuru Solidarity Movement has been active for the past year exposing Oakland’s war budget, where with police overtime, the city spends over 50% of its budget on police services.
This is in a city that is notorious for the police violence carried out against the African community, the same state violence that gave rise to the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense in 1966 is still wreaking havoc on the lives of African people in the city.
Just in the past two months, two African men have been killed by the Oakland police. The police and the media work together to systematically absolve the police of any wrongdoing.
On July 15th, 36 year old Parnell Smith was shot and killed by “problem solving” officers