Gang fight by Oakland school averted

If you drove by the Fremont high school campus today and saw a gazillion squad cars, it’s because police were tipped off to a big gang fight that was supposed to go down near Foothill Boulevard and 46th Avenue at lunchtime.

Apparently, because of the police presence, the fight didn’t happen (then and there, anyway). I’m told the school district’s police department — which has grown to about 12 or 13 officers, and is now headed by Chief Pete Sarna — heard about it and brought in OPD.

Here’s how district spokesman Troy Flint described the incident, in an email:

OUSD police learned of a gang-related fight scheduled to take place in the vicinity of Fremont today and worked with OPD to schedule additional patrols. The visible police presence actually prevented a fight. Although it may have been a bit hectic as certain would-be combatants fled the scene, preemptive action by the police defused a potentially violent situation. OUSD Police will continue to coordinate with OPD and use police presence to deter gang activity in areas of concern and as dictated by intel.

Flint said some of those involved were students, but that older gang members were expected to show up, too.

Speaking of gangs: Did any of you see the Discovery Channel’s segment about Oakland’s gang problem on Monday night? Disturbing stuff, especially if their numbers are accurate (that about 10,000 people in a city of 400,000 are affiliated with a gang). The show touched on a challenge facing schools and the broader community: that members are getting younger and younger — and more reckless. Part II airs at 9 p.m. next Monday, Sept. 21.

Katy Murphy

Education reporter for the Oakland Tribune. Contact me at kmurphy@bayareanewsgroup.com.

  • cranky teacher

    I wouldn’t say 10,000 with some loose or historic affiliation is outlandish, but in general those Discovery shows are pretty sensationalistic.

    We’ve been hearing about child “superpredators” in Oakland since the ’80s.

  • http://www.brokensaints.wordpress.com Ann

    Does anybody know if this documentary will be out on DVD at any point? I missed it.

  • http://OaklandTribune vicster0103

    I am working with our Vice-Mayor’s staff and our problem solving officer to see if anyone has a copy as I did see Part I but a lot of people didn’t and it was only aired once. I have emailed the Discovery channel but have not received a response. I know Ignacio De La Fuentes office would like to get a copy and our Neighborhood Crime Prevention Committee would like to show it at one of our meetings. I would think that OPD should have some copies. We’ll see!

  • Katy Murphy

    My colleague Matt O’Brien investigated the 10,000 gang member statistic that was made in the documentary without attribution:


  • Chauncey

    People are funny. What does the exact number meaqn anyway? No, you see to those that were not raised in the East or flats, and live the life, you dispute the numbers. To those that live in the hodd- this number makes them proud.

    Two diferrent perspectives.

    Gangs aint going no where, and neither is the violence. So again, you got fight power with power. Elementary school aged kids are easy, middle and high is where it begins and ends.

    Keep it Real Liberals!

  • harlemmoon

    So, while our youth are being shot dead in the streets darn near daily, we’re caught up in exactly how many gangbangers there actually are?

    One is too many, people.

    Now, can we discuss how gangs have been allowed to flourish, what we’re prepared to do the thwart future growth, what our commitment to community and quality of life is?

  • Nextset

    Harlemmoom: Its a discreet point I suppose but I’m compelled to restate it.

    Our “youth” don’t just get blown away in the street while walking for an ice cream cone. They get themselves killed engaging in thug lifestyle (including discreet acts). This is not at all a bad thing. There are exceptions such as small children asleep in their beds or taking piano lessons getting hit by gunfire – that’s extraordinarily rare but not unheard of.

    You say one is too many. I say evolution in action.

    Gangs have been allowed to flourish by rotten government policy. We need to change policy starting with changing the criminal justice system in small measure and large, from putting rap sheets on the Internet to re-writing the bill of rights. I’d suggest smaller changes first. Large changes get large unintended consequences.

    We wouldn’t have all these problems if we steadily removed the things that provide nurishment for criminality.

  • harlemmoon

    No argument there, Nextset.
    I, for one, am not surprised to read – daily- that another child has lost his/her life to violence. Particularly when the child is connected to gang activity. The two, as they say, go hand in hand.
    My intent here is to debate how best to “remove the things that provide nourishment for criminality,” rather than the arcane guessing that was happening around a gang member head count.