In her first week on the job, Oakland police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick and other top police officials met with residents of an East Oakland neighborhood where a gunman fired on neighbors, officers and a news helicopter before he was shot and killed by police last month.
The private meeting held last week was attended by residents of Las Vegas Avenue, a cul-de-sac off 98th Avenue, where police killed 32-year-old Jesse Enjaian on February 17 after a standoff.
Kirkpatrick, Assistant Chief David Downing, Deputy Chief Oliver Cunningham, area commander Capt. Sharon Williams, Oakland police spokesperson Officer Johnna Watson and other police officials heard concerns from residents in the area where police had failed to act in two previous incidents involving Enjaian, according to Watson.
Police had reportedly been called to the area twice in the previous week because Enjaian had fired on neighbors’ homes and cars but police failed to arrest him.
No one was injured during Enjaian’s shooting spree on February 17, when police were called to the area at 9:05 a.m. on reports of a man with a rifle shooting in the neighborhood.
Enjjaian targeted officers as they arrived and continued firing for about 30 minutes before he was shot by an unidentified Oakland police officer. He died in the hospital later that day.
Civil rights lawyer John Burris called a news conference after the shooting on behalf of Patrick Reddic, a homeless man who lived in a car parked on the street. They said Enjaian had fired on Reddic’s car just before 8 am on February 14, smashing the windows, puncturing the dashboard, and grazing Reddic’s head.
When police arrived, they detained and handcuffed Reddic instead of Enjian, telling him that “he was the problem,” according to Burris.
Burris told Hoodline Thursday that he didn’t attend last week’s meeting but later spoke with Kirkpatrick regarding concerns about whether proper police practices were followed.
“What I gathered from that is the chief just wanted to learn firsthand and the impact on the community and whether the police practices were appropriate,” Burris said. “I was extremely critical of the police processes because they failed to take efforts to apprehend this person on the first day.”
“I found her to be receptive and thoughtful about the issues,” Burris said. "She seemed to understand and appreciate the concerns we had."
According to the East Bay Express, officers also responded to the neighborhood on February 10 because Enjaian had fired on a neighbor’s car. Police recovered shell casings from his porch and spoke to witnesses, but declined to take him into custody.
The department has refused public records requests to release police reports for the previous incidents, saying the case remains under investigation; Watson said a criminal investigation and an administrative investigation are still open.
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