Event:2016/02/28 Community Safety

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Omni community safety meeting, Sunday February 28, 2016

intros

name, pronoun, affiliation:

  • 50 people. didn't record this part, too fast, unintelligible

what is omni

  • dragon: community of communities. sudoroom, liberated lens, supersonic pandemonium, counter culture labs. i live downtown, was not here.
  • huey p. newton said we learn through observation & participation.
  • person interrupts - i'm afriad you're just gonna say how awesome you are and we're gonna say how upset we are, and then we'll go home
  • they'll speak at the appropriate time

safety

  • we have a safe space policy
  • we all want the same thing

what happened

  • laura: thanks, i'll be brief. i'm an organizer here. i was "point person" for the event, i made arrangements, was here the entire time. event was hip hop birthday party & concert for an oakland hip hop band. their first show. leader's family were main organizers. we discussed what was gonna happen extensively ahead of time. they came prepared with security. we signed a contract, there was event insurance. everything was... i looked at videos for the group and felt comfortable hosting this event here. as far as the security at the event, there were two trained security guards and the aunt of the leader of the band, they patted down everyone who came into the event. they searched all bags. they only served water - no alcohol. nobody was allowed to return once they left - no "in & outs". they cut off ignition about 9:45 because the place was as full as they wanted to be. around 9:30 a cruiser came by - officers came to the door here. they said there were no complaints or concerns about the event. they were looking for someone wearing a portland jersey. they complimented the security and left. scheduled to end at 11 - sometime between 10:30 and 10:45, decole (woman at front door) called OPD asking for a police cruiser to sit on the street and make sure the kids were safe going to their cars. she was told that cruiser would be sent. if it was sent, it didn't get here on time.
  • so at 11 they turned the lights on, said "ok everybody we're just waiting for the cruiser and then you can go home". they allowed a couple people to leave who really needed to, but probably no more than 10. a couple minutes later the shooting started. i was sitting in the front room. i heard two groups of bullets being fired, but as you know, in an emergency it's hard to remember exactly what happneed. didn't see anything outside. people couldn't see where shooting came from, ran out exits, ended up in back of building in room wihtout windows. in stampede, someone got their foot stomped on, someone hit their head. later i saw someone in an ambulance, she was alert and talking.
  • once shooting stopped, we saw police flashers. people started coming out. people left, except for the host family. they cleaned up for 45 minutes. during cleanup, neither omni organizers or event hosts were asked any significant questions about the event. they were mostly concerned about examining crime scene. i gave officer in charge of the scene the contract he asked for, with contact info. they've not been contacted yet by OPD. questions?
    • so security was provided by people that rented out the party? not you?
    • but one of those people is actually employed as a security guard
  • why did you feel you had to call a police cruiser to escort young people to their cars?
    • laura: she was concerned about not disturbing the neighborhood and not having kids get into trouble on the way to their car
  • who were these people shooting?
    • we dont' know
  • what makes you think thhey were even assocaited with omni?
    • we don't. we have no reason to assume they had anything to do with us, or with anything
  • i saw several people who saw the gun battle. would they like to speak?
  • we're the nextdoor neighbors. you hear the shooting and then the tv goes off. they shot through the cable. that makes it more close to the heart. when they shoot your cable out that makes it serious.
    • my 2 children sleep 10 feet from where it split the cable
    • it's been repaired
  • i live down the street here, i saw people run to the end, they didn't live here but came from this area. taking chances with other peoples' lives by running into the areas. when i used to work here, we had security guards here. not just two - we had 8. keeping an eye on the back door, down here, here, roaming around. might wanna rethink that with just 2 people. it's hard.
    • when it was a nightclub
  • laura: there were other people in the building doing other activities. i was in here keeping my eye on those things
    • right but however if there's someone trying to get in or out, you're not equipped to stop them. we did have something once where they were trying to get in. security should be thought about
  • i live @ 48th & telegraph. wife & i were driving back home that evening right around 11:00. we ended at the corner of 48th & shattuck getting ready to turn towards our building. then shooting emerged. first thought itw as firecrackers, then saw light flyign across street. turned quickly trying to get out of way, bullet grazed back window, shattered it, through passenger side mirror. luckily my wife & i are safe but only 10 inches from her. a shock, never experienced gunfire like that in our 11 years here. as you said, we just focused on getting out of there. spoke to police later, they saw car and took statementws.
  • how many people? about 300
    • 300 people in attendance & 2 security guards
  • how many allowed in here?
    • possibly 600
  • any cameras? no. there's a camera on the condo kitty-corner and they told police it wasn't recording
    • it had gotten fixed a couple weeks ago, they forgot to switch it back on
  • do you have event permits for public events
    • this building has had a conditional use permit as a community center and a public ballroom since before use permits even became something
    • officer: person running the show did not obtain a permit through the city of oakland. they have to go through the city, events and planning. they let us know hey, this is how many people, we start looking at the criteria, make requirements. certain amount of security guards, OPD officers, you have to hire.
    • 3 weeks?
    • so if i were to have a party here i'd have to show the owner of the building that permit
  • dk: i haven't been onsite since last summer but i help out when i can. permit situation is complicated, multiple later. there's a CM-8625, a CUP that does allow events to be held in this building. it's the reason why ... when we were looking for a community center we wanted one that could have events. it figured strongly into looking at this building in 2014. events open to the public where you have 50+ people attending
    • beverly: what is "open tot he public?"
    • dk: different definitions. if someone's not on an invite list, if they're not a member of a club that's holding the event, that would be a public event. private events don't actually require the SEP/SAP (special event/activity permit). i can say omni has tried very hard to make sure all the events are safe. unless you're in here seeing what's going on, it's ahrd to know that. you can see sound bleeding through, we've done a lot of noise mitigation in here, but not finished. inside, safety is always our first priority. i've been down in eastmont station with officer (?) who handles SEPs. but just to sum up, just to say, we want all our events to be lawful and permitted and safe.
    • officer: biggest thing about permits, they send us a weekly email saying where events are at, where parties are at, where to send officers. we had no notice, which is huge, cause we'd have sent someone over here.
  • any attorneys here? OPD received a call. anonymous caller said there's somebody outside in this area wearing a purple shirt & pink pants (not that though) with a firearm. they sent people, couldn't find him. we would have with that many units. after we noticed there was a party, talked to the security guard there. commended them for patting down people for weapons. they had not seen the person in question. OPD's policy is if you have a private event, we're not going in, won't make people uncomfortable. not trying to shut anything down. after officers left, one stayed for 15-20 minutes, didn't see anything unusual. couldn't call anonymous person back. don't have fancy CHP call tracing. next call comes at 22:50 reporting gunfire. shotspotter also triggered - 17 rounds from one gun, 6 from another. surprised nobody got shit, probably because you had people held inside waiting for an officer. great tactic. we can't always respond because we have other stuff going on. resources depleted. but we respond to shooting.
    • police arrived within minutes.
    • didn't see the second call come in. next call we got was the shooting
  • officers arrived, did canvas, if someone's hurt we try to get medical aid. based on preliminary investigation, nobody was hit. only injuries we had was people getting trampled trying to run, falling, bumping their head, a lot of cars getting shot up. to say this was omni's fault would be getting too premature. clearly happened outside hte venue. not sure who they think did it, or what happened, or the conflict they had. they were targeting somebody. who? i have no idea.
    • didn't jump anybody. nobody on the scene wanted to give a statement about who did it, why. usually people don't try to be witnesses, just get away. one weapon was an uzi-type. scary.
    • somebody described it as an uzi-type weapon
  • did you pick up shell casings?
    • officer: there was a technician, not sure
    • laura: they did
  • officer: iv'e been here 17 years, districts 1 & 2. worked as community resource officer. partol. last 4 yeras i work with gangs & narcotics. trying to put things together. biggest thing is, this is temescal district. there's a shooting here? when does that happen? shouldn't happen at all but very rare. random street robberies but, this is really odd. shocking when i first heard about it. any questions?
  • i heard a rumor going around that it was an east oakland group that came into here. we have what they call north ?? people. rumor is east oakland came to north oakland and didn't go over too well
    • officer: rumor is NSO / north side oakladn gang feud that ???. way that gangs work is sometimes they link up, sometimes the split up. we haven't received any info about an east oakland gang coming over here shooting up a north oakland gnag. idk what to tell you - highly unlikely.
  • beverly: what advice would you give us? as neighbors?
    • cameras. i know nobody likes em. eye in the sky, always looking. help us identify people who were there, put scenarios together. maybe it was over this girlfriend. can't help that people keep guns. if they keep an uzi in the car, you can't do anything. my last shooting as an officer, regular joe getting out of uber, shot in the head, drops like a sack of potatoes. with cameras we got a good description, partial plate, ran through dealerships, it was a rental car. while i was patrolling, i find them. chase, guns, catch him. confessed to murders
    • do you have it pointing out on the street?
    • if it's high up, it'll only get the top of my head. lower, you get the face too. i have them on my house. $5.99 from costco. web interface, download videos, etc
  • trying to target the rapper or his family?
    • could've been, but we don't have any information that there was a particular rapper. could've been a rock concert. just so happened it was a rap concert, that's it.
    • i did some math. 2, 300, 6 people in both groups? might be people who probably snuck in here? a clue?
  • shifra: question for the group themselves. where do they come from? what's their deal? do they have a rep here?
    • laura: we invited them, unfortunately they didn't come. woman who was working the front door, who made the call, closed the doors. said she was gonna come. but then i texted her and she had something else to do.
    • hip hop for change person was unrelated to the party
    • laura: nobody asked us any significant questions of an investigatory nature
  • question back from specifics of event. i heard your description of omni. as long as i've been here, came to a couple organizational meetings, a couple events for community relations, thursday night discussions. way you described it is what i understood - collective of creative interesting people trying to come up with alternatives. i think it's a wonderful contribution. i can't figure out how these events figure into the program of omni. seems to me you weren't responsible for this kind of thing. because it was an event, like a party, seems a little different from what i understood the goal and purpose of omni to be. not a place to host parties. this event twisted things around - instead of being concerned, a group in our community with a terrible event happening out of it, let's support them, to... what the hell is omni doing having an event like this?
  • alex: i can speak to that.
    • beverly: it pays the rent
    • alex: we don't know. we do rent the space out. helps us pay our rent. if it wasn't as expensive
    • we do sliding scale event rentals. we're cheaper than other spaces. we try to be affordable.
    • ballpark?
    • laura: to rent the ballroom, in general $400-many thousands for ~4 hours
  • we were totally off guard that you were running a nightclub effectively
    • alex: great concern. we're not a nightclub. we don't serve alcohol. it was kids. i understand wanting to know what's going on across the street
    • next door
    • we put up with people unloading equipment in our driveways becasue we agreed with the mission. this part of it we were caught off guard
    • but if you tell us an event is going on - we share a wall with you guys - it's not so much the noise or "we're throwing a party". it's if something like this goes wrong, there's no responsibility of "this is what we need to do to move forward". you say you're not responsible but it happened because the event was here.
    • there's so many eyewitnesses that saw that. i own a tin business. if people invite people to come into my space and shit goes down, i'm ultimately responsible. and there's no one here taking responsibility. i am the first one to back you up, however there is no community. we need to all be community. that is not being community - forcing something to happen as this big party got out of hand
    • maybe they came for me and they missed. down the street
    • no they were shooting up my bedroom
  • going in a circle
    • seems like we're moving to solutions. mission of omni is great. collective of collectives is great. having large scale events late at night is problematic because you have next-door neighbors nearby. anytime you have 150+ people here you're bringing people from outside the community. i like that omni is like occupy, having everybody here. don't like having to patch bullet holes in my house. don't like seeing events going on here on New Years Eve. if there's events here on friday & saturday nights for the most part, that's effectively a nightclub.
  • joe: FNB. reason we have to hold events is because my group, basically rescues food, doesn't pay rent. a lot of groups raise money to pay a very high rent. if you agree with that mission, at some level you have to allow us to make rent money. we're open to ... community is convinced there's a connection, i am to. party ended at 11, 6 minutes to 11.... unusual coincidence shooting took place at that exact moment. open to doing a lot of things to make it a safer venue for us and neighbors. i hope you'll work with us instead of against us.
    • gotta figure out how to make some money. idk if radical sharing is gonna do it. bringing the people in is the problem. we don't need those people here. people in these shops up and down the street, with these businesses, they're not here doing something. it's not really this community.
      • please respect mic, free for all.
  • i've been teaching courses at omni for about a year now, free university. i wasn't here that night. what i'm hearing from you disturbs me that you weren't informed there was gonna be an event. i think that should have been a first line primary aspect of putting on a large event there in this building. i've organized large forums at a nieghborhood community level. i always made sure people in 2 block radius knew there'd be something and were invited. so, a private party... conflicts with the notion of being a community building. maybe even if these raise money, we have to figure out how to make sure what we do in some sense always is open to the community so we can inform the community that we're doing it and invite them, invite you and you, at the same time. while this area is a COC/COC, it also deals with cultural aspects of society around us. a concert is a representative of that kind of culture. if the event is a concert it fits within the purvue of what we're trying to do at omni - bring aspects of culture together, be around with it and in it. at least open our own minds to notion that what we do is a community thing and has to always be something ot which we can invite poeple from the commutniy around here.
  • i hear you but my preference would be for you guys to not have private parties but more community oriented get-togethers. i hope you realize we're part of the community together
    • it was a private party. we're not gonna go to a private party. the frustration on my end is, whenever we've had things, people parking in our driveway and i ask them, people say "it's not one of the people that are here". it's always "not my responsibility", and it is at some point. we're happy to share in that responsibility, but if we always here "it's not us, we don't know who did that, i don't know"... every time i knock on the door, don't call the police, it's always the same answer and that's the frustration.
  • i've lived in this neighborhood for 15 years that way on the corner. remember the birdcage? got shut down. jamaica station got closed down. their last night i watched a person get knocked unconscious almost beat to death, shots fired. has been a pretty nasty corner. it's a lot safer now. idk if people around now appreciate but i feel safer now and one of the reasons is the pressence of this community center. i think shooting is different issue from parking and trash on the street. nobody died here. hyperbole going on, likening... 2013 remember first friday? someone died, 3 wounded. i don't see people asking FF to be shut down
    • yes they did...
    • people benefit, people move here because of that. this is a very ... i'm greatful for this meeting, it's cool you called the meeting bringing people together understand people angry, we were home, didn't get hit but scared. wanna know what happened. right now i feel like this is a responsible step to take, call a meeting, looking forward what can be done to make omni safer. be grateful it's a different situation. i live ina n urban area because of the culture, the people, that carries risks for me, i don't wanna see gunfire, kicking to death, mugging, so let's talk about how to be safe. thank you.
  • shifra: from BID, omni is a business, this event concerned me. i know events are a huge part of revenue stream. size should be looked at, and security procedures, cameras, guards, and your vetting. one thing about communication, BID has struggled. making it available on website isn't transparent. part of it is going door to door, writing emails. it's important.
  • what's name of performing group? trill youngins
  • growing up from 2 leftist radical moms , i commend you, thank you. appreciate what you're trying to do. feel like coming to the table we have to come with the truth. i've let go some of the anger i had, trying to come here with my truth, of the people i know in the neighborhood. when i see this yellow flyer...
    • beverly printed that flier
    • yar: it was a flippant paraphrase of what we wrote
    • if we're gonna get the truth y'all gotta get the truth too. it can't be "we didn't do nothing". whoever's in charge... i know & respect you david, someone's gotta be responsible. imagine if your child was trambled or wife almost shot. i'm sure you're all equally traumatized. i promised someone from the building up above i'd read their email
  • we're next door neighbors, wanna express concern. according to their minutes they've strugged to pay rent. so they rent to anyone that'll pay them. almost exclusively raucaus parties. despite omni's knowledge they hold almost no permits for events. one of those led to the shoot-out. were home during shooting, very lucky nobody hurt. bullets through neighbors windows. they want you to be good neighbors. trash & gun violence don't go hand in hand. not a gateway drug. however i pay my taxes, clean shit up. can't just let people take a dump on your sidewalk. could be a fire hazard. could be rats.
  • question: can someone verify if there are actually parties going late at night?
    • we have a chart we can post. most end at 10. looking for handout now.
  • beverly: these 2 building exposed now that nautilus tore down everything - one's mine, and a few properties across the street. i'm a local busybody. i have an ??? attitude towards my properties & tenants. been here a long time. never had a single person come over and include us in this so-called community. it's not inclusive. i've wandered in a few times but never been included. don't like the free stuff at the door. drive to goodwill. also all people loitering around here, that is bringing crime. i don't need any crime around here. it's bad enough. i think having a community center is good. been here in the past, we need it. that doesn't mean all these poeple... i don't know hwo you are. not including the community. yes you need money, world needs money. this place needs structure & management if you're going to succeed. you're not including the community and i'm gonna be on your case. if there's trash, cars, etc i'll being on your case. that's what it takes
  • matt: i'm a volunteer. we're completely volunteer run. i've cleaned up human feces outside with my hands. biggest events i've been here aren't screaming parties but amazing personalities on stage. visceral moment. we're a nonprofit. straightforward, articulated clearly. our directors are responsible like any nonprofit. there's structure, ways to participate, roles, accountability. my friends here were shaken. i see it in the way they talk. we're all trying to find answers. ...... all events published on calendar. ask me any questions about that.
  • dk: i'm grateful you came here. realize after we posted brief report... it could be scary, not neutral territory, defensive, adversarial. didn't think about it at all. not meant to be exculpatory, dismissive, or terse, or play down tragedy. just telling you what we had. we got most of our information from neighbors across the street. why are people volunteering in their free time? they want a safe space to have their youth go, where there's no alcohol, where they can freely & safely celebrate their friendships & culture. in a way that's in line with the mission of a community center. to provide affordable & accessible spaces. we've had music recitals, luncheons, charity events. IMO it's seen within the same rubrick. maybe we can't do everything. easy to say in hindsight we shouldn't've had it, but at most events we haven't had these problems. i'm not trying to apologize for omni, just ... i think we clearly hit on that neighbors need someone to call. we need a number, a name, an email. whether it's a driveway being blocked, someone suspicious... we're trying to work on practices that can improve that.
  • i'm from santa fe, working together through twists & turns of gentrification. glad you've calmed down...
    • that's condescending
    • fighting, cross talk
    • we want solutions. i'm glad omni opened this up, i'm glad the community came
  • i don't want omni to shut down. i'm thrilled you're here. you were incredibly responsive about the guys sitting on chairs. done well. not wanting to equate trash with shootings. it's the lack of response that's a problem. community is shaken. we need a response.
  • private parties... truth... having trust with one another. we're scared, nervous. just bringing down trust each time. agree omni is a great place to have around. before a party starts, one of the people who work here should knock on each door telling neighbors start & end date, so less anger.
    • they did sound checks in our house. it's been pretty good. bullets are the problem.
  • on 47th. commend you, sound is not an issue. i'd like a contact for concerns if there is something wrong. to keep communication open, give you heads up. reexamine permit requirements if event is over a certain size, private or not.
  • east oakland...? no one's mentioned the kind of events run here. sorry about bullets. not fun, happened to me. nobody's acknowledged that running events here is trying to give people a space to have these events where normally that's what they deal with on a day to day basis. sorry people feel terrible about small instance of ivolence here but important for people to be able to have events wher ein their own locations there's a greater chance of day to day violence. would like that to continue. violence terrible in all forms. hope community ... still run events with smal lrisk of violence but long term goal is provide better space for peopel to cmoe together
  • hi, joan. forth floor of... been in neighborhood since 1977. don't understand why neighbors think they didn't know this is a community place with events. it's been clear, signs outside, announcements sometimes. i think having a point person is good. maybe public events, not only on web page but nextdoor, online group, let people know. i was here one time with nonprofit rented space for workshop. when i heard the kind of security you did for event, pat-downs, no alcohol, sounded responsible, i dont' think you at omni had anything to do with what happened. yknow, i think we need to keep talking with people. concerned, have not heard any noise from events. just from bar upstreet, street is like a wind tunnel. they smoke out til 2am. i don't like trash, i think maybe people who spend more time here talking, make provisions to throw their stuff, but i don't think people hanging around necessarily brings crime to the neighborhood. i feel comfortable because there's people here. like in NY, you can walk anywhere. i feel safe having people there. great space, appreicate wht you're doing.
  • alex writing suggestions
    • shut it down at 10pm
  • important for temescal & all oakland. us/them thing isn't ... ???
  • ken volunteer with ccl, in favor of events help pay rent because i like coming here. do teaching. so many collectives, so much expertise, i can learn something, personally don't live in the neighborhood but i like coming here, really truly do appreciate neighbors support this place and allow us to have this place because it's such a great place to come & learn. i volunteer a bit, wouldn't call myself a core. some of us do a huge amount of work. sometimes i want to do something, next thing i know it's been donwe, they take care of it. understand concerns expressed. anyone felt excluded, most events happen because we have so many different collectives, not trying to exclude, more like se la vie. i'd say probably would be happy if you feel like it, being part of our volunteer groups. more direct feedback.
  • applaud you guys for having space. been here before you moved in. know owners. lived here since 77. great to have a community center, to be inclusive & not exclusive. agree with points, nobody wants violence, trash, stuff. 2 suggestions: time limit into evening? all about respect. wrap up by 10pm. in terms of party, safety, i know the street folks who live on the street. they told me they didn't feel safe with that party and they moved on. just telling you that's word on the street. youngsters. they know some s h i t was going down, they got out. vet your people.
  • yar; hi i'm taking notes. glad some of you read them. i wrote a lot of them. you can search them and find me saying "we have a communication problem!" not just between us and neighbors but within us. we're aware of it.
  • not fair to ask neighbors to shoulder the work it'll take. if you feel you don't wanna be involved, we can report back to you
  • jeremy: i'd like to see more neighborhood meetings here. john said there were more
    • there was one.
  • in this space i feel i count. not from privileged race. i don't live in oakland. i drive 30 minutes to be here. every time i come here... spaces like this are not everywhere. i checked out the party twice. one time i told laura, this is beautiful, kids having fun. i was happy, young kids, no alcohol, no drugs, lights were on. it's appreciate. i was happy and left before the shots, so next day i was shocked like you are. that's why i came today. another thing is, before we move here, i came to check the area we were gonna be moving to. i parked, observed neighborhood, was scared. i said maybe we can set up some lights. a lady told me "omni's here, i feel safer". want to talk about race - if you see a black or brown person, first thing some people think is "they may be criminals".
  • lexx - berkeley liberation radio collective. aspiring to join omni. when shooting occurred i was upstairs. we were hiding in what i call the meditation room. been coming lately. produce live events for aspiring young folks, rock musicians. at stork club, an under 21 space. hoping to bring it here. hoping we past muster, hoping we can have events here. thank you.
  • josh: was running audio for event that evening. appreciate hearing music hasn't been a problem.
    • honestly note saying it goes until all hours, it goes until 11. we can hear through the wall. but not a problem, and if it is we'll knock on your door.
    • we need proactiveness around here. omni is understaffed. laura & i were omni presence in ballroom that evening. there were 2 security guards. nice people, one of them was also MC'ing. going back & forth. probably wasn't enough though. but omni doesn't have the kind of support & experience needed to pull off something like that. and you wanna get enticed to help out? this is one of the biggest crowds i've seen here. don't see this very often. make this more of a community so we don't have a monopoly of community. i didn't appreciate the weird paper. not what this is about... your job is not to stop people from shooting people. that's impossible. anyone other of us could have a gun.
    • cop: i hope not
    • don't we all? but making other people responsible for your own fear, that's my definition of terrorism
    • who are you talking to? [them, the neighbors]
    • music was loud. they said stuff i didn't appreciate. she mentioned sliding scale, that's supposed to be about social justice. we've had 3 events that size and only one of them was social justice. but we don't have capacity. we need the community, we need as much support as we can. liberated lens negotiating to do film series. plenty of opportunities but don't have enough to just put it on a platter for you
  • i get you're a nonprofit, have limited resources. but in this case security provided by people putting on the event. just us from the community, if you know it's not enough, ask them to provide whatever number that is. and you don't have to worry about resources.
  • alex...
  • shifra: wednesday 9:30am BID meeting at dona tomas
    • also on board of BID. provided you guys many times. we've joined this community. also a forum. if you wanna speak your mind, add to community, welcome to board meetings. that's the way you join community as well.