Police can’t protect every single person at every single second; that’s why we often hear, “You must be your own first responder.” Well, that saying is certainly applicable to recent ongoings in Oakland. After an increase in crime in the city’s Chinatown area, Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong recently doubled down on keeping citizens as victims. He said he would rather citizens refrain from arming themselves and, instead, act as “good witnesses.”
Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong Wants Citizens Unarmed
“When weapons are fired in our community, there could be unintended victims,” Armstrong told ABC7. “We don’t want our business owners or others to begin to arm themselves. We would really prefer them to be good witnesses.”
That shocking revelation came after a local resident opened fire on a robbery suspect in Chinatown Feb. 15. To put that into further context, we must view through the lens of race as well. Local Asian residents believe they face assault and robbery due to race. And this police chief wants them to resist fighting back.
“Everybody’s scared out of their jackets right now,” resident Nancy Tan told ABC7. “It’s partially racism, partially profiling because Asians tend to carry more cash, so we make for a better, riper victim.”
Rising Crime in Chinatown
The latest robbery attempt comes as the latest in a string of recent crime in Chinatown, reported ABC7. But the police chief wants his potentially racially based targets to remain unarmed.
“We just want to reassure the community that we’re doing a thorough job of investigating what happened last night,” Armstrong told ABC7. “The District Attorney will determine whether charges are appropriate or not.”
And therein lies the even more disturbing rub. Not only does the local law enforcement leader want folks to refrain from carrying, but a man who allegedly defended himself faces possible charges? Meanwhile, rising crime rates leave residents scared. It’s reportedly so bad, it even effects local businesses.
“Her customers are afraid to come here, they’re afraid because of this,” Tan told ABC7, referring to a local hairdresser.
“Hey thieves, lay off,” Tan told ABC7. “Give us a break!”
We echo that sentiment for sure. But maybe your local leaders should support your right to defend you and yours as well. After all, you are your own first responder. We all are.