Oakland police, mayor discuss fatal cop shooting, sideshows

- Oakland Police Chief Sean Whent released more information Monday about a deadly officer-involved shooting.

Police said the man shot dead had nothing to do with any of the sideshows that kept police busy over the weekend, even as the officers involved in the fatal incident had been towing motorcycles that had been involved in the illegal street rallies.

Authorities say they don't why he allegedly brandished a fake gun at them. 

The shooting happened shortly after 5:30 p.m. Sunday at 90th and Bancroft avenues in East Oakland.

Three relatively new officers, with experience ranging from six to 18 months, and a sergeant with seven years on the force all opened fire when they were approached by a man who pointed what turned out to be a replica gun in their direction, the chief said.

"You have a 39-year-old male that has a previous Oakland address approach the group of police officers and pulled out a replica pistol from their waistband and pointed it in the general direction of the officers," Whent said.

"The group of officers then scattered, and four officers discharged their firearms at the person with the replica pistol," the chief said.

The replica firearm was recovered, and police released pictures of it to the public.

The slain man and the identities of the officers weren't released. The officers are on paid administrative leave pending investigations by the department's homicide section and internal affairs as well as the Alameda County district attorney's office.

Although all officers are equipped with body cameras, none of the officers who fired theier guns had their devices activated at the time of the shooting because they had been just standing around, not involved in any activity, before the incident, Whent said.

The fatal shooting capped a raucous weekend in which police and the California Highway Patrol dealt with at least 700 people taking part in illegal car rallies known as "sideshows" on Saturday, stopping only until the rain came at 4 a.m. Sunday. 

Then, Sunday afternoon, police tried to handle dozens of people on dirt bikes, quads and cars. There were so many cars that some officers tasked to handle security at the Raiders game at the Coliseum were pulled to assist with sideshow enforcement, Whent said.

Mayor Libby Schaaf said the time has come to put an end to sideshows, which have resurged in recent months after years of relative calm.

"The city of Oakland will not tolerate sideshow activities," Schaaf said at the news conference. "Sideshows represent an unacceptable amount of risk for motorists, for pedestrians but, most importantly, the residents of East Oakland deserve to have peace and quiet and be able to enjoy their community, particularly at night."
 

Participants of earlier sideshows have brought traffic to a standstill on East Oakland streets, at the Port of Oakland and on Interstates 580 and 880 at all hours of the day. Many post their rubber-burning exploits on social media, including videos on YouTube.

But authorities say danger exists to not only residents but participants themselves. There have been videos in which young men filming sideshows are themselves struck and injured by fast-moving spinning cars. Some bystanders have been injured or killed by gunfire.

In June, an Oakland police officer had to undergo surgery after suffering facial cuts when somebody threw a bottle during a sideshow

And because the drivers are extremely mobile, it is challenging to catch up to scofflaws immediately, police said. A recent CHP sting, however, seemed to be the exception. The CHP  brought in extra officers from throughout Northern California and handed out dozens of citations and towed scores of cars at the Port of Oakland.

 

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