Woman writes powerful letter to Governor Brown after niece gunned down in Oakland

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The aunt of an Oakland teenage girl shot to death at random last week has written an emotional letter to Governor Jerry Brown.
Eileen Wilson is so heartbroken and frustrated by the violence in Oakland that claimed her niece
Reggina Jefferies, she emailed the letter to the governor Tuesday. 


Dear Governor Brown:

I write today with such a heavy heart in hopes that you will push our now seating Mayor Libby Schaff to address the number of senseless murders happening in our streets of Oakland. I am reaching out to you for help because I remember when you were Mayor you were very approachable and you were concerned about our City and the people in Oakland.  My niece, Regginae (sic), was killed last week by a gunman who was randomly shooting into the crowd and she was shot in the chest and died later that evening.  I have to give you history on this murder.  In 2012, my brother, Lemuel Wilson, Regginae's grandfather was gunned down on 88th Avenue in Oakland and no one to this date has been charged despite numerous calls and visits to the Oakland Police Department.  There was actually an eyewitness to the killing and yet, no one has been charged yet.  That speaks volumes of the inefficiency of our police department!! Now, Regginae's killer stands to go free because the OPD is focusing on a sex scandal within the department??? I agree, the issue does need to be addressed but do not forget about our youth and loved ones being gunned down in the streets of Oakland with no closure for the families!!! I am outraged how we feel like hostages in our own City.  Terrorism is alive and well in Oakland! Governor Brown, as my family prepares for Regginae's funeral on Thursday, please consider contacting our sitting Mayor, whom you endorsed, and beg her to help us find her killer!! She was a beautiful teenager with a bright and prosperous future!! She was a good girl!! My heart is breaking and her parents are inconsolable!! Governor Brown help us to get our out of control City back! Help us to feel safe again! Help us to be proud that we live in Oakland!! I am begging for your help as our City is no longer our City.  It belongs to whomever has a gun!!! The Mayor and Police Department need to be put on notice that we are not going to stand for our streets to continue to be the way that they are!! I have lived in Oakland all of my life, born and raised, attended schools here and I have seen our City go under at the hands of these criminals!! GOVERNOR BROWN PLEASE HELP US!! We want our children to live!!! Thank you taking the time to even read this but I am angry!! Eileen M. Wilson, Oakland Resident!

  • Eileen M. Wilson

Reggina was killed last week by gunshots that rang out during a vigil for two friends in downtown Oakland.

She had just performed a solo dance routine at the funeral for the two teenage boys who had drowned last month.

"Reggina had a bright future. She's a cheerleading captain of the Crusaders in San Leandro. She's associated with Girls Inc. Bright girl on her way to college. Gunned down in the street," Wilson told KTVU.

Wilson is concerned that Reggina's killing will go unsolved, just like the shooting death of Regina's grandfather Lemuel Wilson in Oakland four years ago.

In the letter she asks Brown, a former Oakland mayor, to push current Mayor Libby Schaaf to address the violence, But Wilson is just as hurt as the response she got today from the governor's office. It was basically a form letter referring her back to the police department.

"I was even more incensed. I was absolutely angry,"" she said.

On Thursday the deputy press secretary for the governor's office sent the following statement regarding that response. 

“After our constituent affairs unit received Ms. Wilson’s heartfelt letter, a standard response email was sent in error. This is absolutely unacceptable and Governor Brown, who read Ms. Wilson’s letter, immediately asked a senior member of his staff to call the family, apologize for this error, and offer his and Anne’s sincere condolences.”    

Wilson worries that with all the attention surrounding the sex exploitation scandal in the Oakland Police Department, real police work and public safety is falling by the wayside. Police say that is not happening.

"We remain focused. Given the changes of the past several weeks, we have not lost sight or focus," said Oakland Police Spokeswoman Johnna Watson.

Now Wilson is preparing to help bury Reggina. She didn't want her to be just another crime statistic. So she wrote to the governor hoping it would somehow make a difference. 

"The police need to get on their jobs. Our city is going to hell in a hand basket and it is going quickly," she said.

The mayor's office issued a statement saying they are focused on working with the community to identify those involved in the shooting.