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OAKLAND — A 12-year-old boy was shot in the foot early Friday  in East Oakland by someone apparently trying to steal a catalytic converter from a family vehicle, authorities said.

He was in stable condition at a hospital.

The shooting was reported at about 3:09 a.m. Friday in the 2500 block of Rawson Street, a residential area in the Maxwell Park neighborhood.

Authorities said the boy’s father was awakened  by noises coming from outside the home and when he and his son went to investigate saw two men apparently trying to steal a catalytic converter from a family vehicle.

When the father tried to scare the thieves off, one of them began shooting at the two, wounding the boy, authorities said. The father was not hurt.

The suspects fled the scene and the father took his son to a hospital, police said.

Detailed descriptions of the suspects were not available.

Police and Crime Stoppers of Oakland are offering up to $5,000 in reward money for information leading to the arrest of the suspects.  Anyone with information may call police at 510-238-3426 or 510-238-3326 or Crime Stoppers at 510-777-8572.

Check back for updates.



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Oakland passes law to increase oversight of militarized police equipment

OAKLAND — The City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved an ordinance to allow for additional oversight of the police department’s use of “militarized” equipment such as armored vehicles, certain ammunition, projectile launchers and tear gas.

The new law requires police to submit policies, impact reports and annual reports about its use or purchase of such equipment to the Oakland Police Commission, a civilian group that oversees police department activities. The commission can then make recommendations to the City Council about how the equipment should be used.

The ordinance is two years in the making. Members of the Oakland Police Commission started drafting it in 2019. But it arrived at the City Council days after it was revealed that more than two dozen Oakland police officers are facing discipline for their tactics against demonstrators following the murder of Minneapolis resident George Floyd by police last spring.

In four investigations into about 300 use-of-force complaints at protests between May 29 and June 1, investigators found 33 instances of officers violating policy on June 1, mostly for the improper deployment of tear gas, according to police officials.

In announcing those findings, Oakland police Chief LeRonne Armstrong said that officers will not be allowed to carry chemical agents without command staff approval.

In a council committee meeting last week, Armstrong expressed concern for the scope of the ordinance and said it would require additional staff support to provide the necessary reports to comply with the ordinance.

He echoed that in a city memo submitted to the council this week, comparing the requirements to those of a city surveillance technology ordinance that “require significant staff time to develop, refine, and present to the Oakland Privacy Advisory Commission.”

“There will be an increase in the manual workload to implement the necessary requirements,” his memo continues. It estimates that the department will need to add four positions at a total of $171,458 in full compensation each, totaling more than 1.3 million.

The City Council will take up the fiscal ramifications on Thursday, when it is slated to have a meeting about the city’s budget, which needs to be finalized by the end of the month. City Council President Nikki Fortunato Bas will present the budget she created with a team of councilmembers following Mayor Libby Schaaf’s proposed budget was unveiled last month.

Vice Mayor Rebecca Kaplan, who introduced the equipment ordinance to the City Council along with council members Noel Gallo and Dan Kalb, said the cost of better regulating militarized equipment by the police department will be worth it in the long run.

“If we pay for a couple of staff to track and protect against improper use but save millions because we won’t constantly have injuries and litigation from improper use of military equipment, then we should come out ahead financially and reduce human suffering,” Kaplan said after the City Council’s vote on Tuesday.

The ordinance will take effect after a second reading by the City Council in July.

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