Bay Area/ Oakland/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on February 21, 2024
Oakland Police Investigate Hate Crime Vandalism at Lake Merritt PergolaSource: Google Street View

Oakland Police are on the hunt for vandals after a hate crime struck the serene Lake Merritt area last week. According to the Oakland Police Department (OPD), the Pergola at Lake Merritt was desecrated with graffiti connected to Middle Eastern conflicts. Cops swung into action on February 19 when they got wind of the defiled city property.

The graffiti, found sprayed across the historical structure was quickly removed by Oakland Public Works (OPW). Yet the person or persons behind the crime remain at large, with officers admitting the troubling act could have occurred on "an unknown date, at an unknown time, by an unknown individual(s)." The department has urged the public to stay vigilant and report any suspicious activity.

In response to the incident, OPD has assured the community of their commitment to principles of justice, expecting their officers to treat such cases with utmost "sensitivity, respect." Community members witnessing hate speech, crimes, or incidents are encouraged to reach out directly to the Hate Crime Tipline or the department's non-emergency hotline.

While the police works to trace the culprits, OPD is staying in step with local, state, and federal law enforcement partners to gauge whether a ramped-up police presence near the lake is warranted. They have reiterated a steadfast "commitment to the safety and well-being of our community." Meanwhile, anyone coming across more vandalism is encouraged to report it to Oakland's OAK311 service.