A 37-year-old business owner was shot to death in East Oakland by police officers last night, just hours after Oakland police officers were fired on in West Oakland while questioning a parolee.
Derrick Jones, 37, was shot to death by two OPD officers near the corner of Bancroft Avenue and Trask Street after a foot chase. At a press conference today, Deputy Police Chief Jeff Israel said officers had received a call about a man “attempting to kill a woman” at a laundromat on Bancroft Avenue by allegedly choking her and slamming her head. When the two officers stopped Jones for questioning inside the Kwik Cuts Barbershop he owned nearby, Jones took off running.
During the chase, Deputy Chief Israel said, the officers unsuccessfully attempted to tase Jones. Police also say Jones did not respond to commands to halt and kept reaching for his waistband. At one point, an officer saw an unspecified metal object in Jones’ hands. According to Deputy Chief Israel, when police confronted Jones in the 5800 block of Trask Street and ordered him to raise his hands, Jones did not comply, dropped his hands to his belt and looked over his shoulder towards the officers. The two officers then fired on Jones, striking him multiple times.
He was pronounced dead at the scene. The shooting is under investigation by OPD’s Homicide and Internal Affairs units – the Alameda County District Attorney is also conducting a separate probe.
The names of the police officers were not released – however, OPD Spokesman Jeff Thomason did say that both officers were not white, in hope of reducing racial tensions around officer-involved shooting. According to Officer Jeff Thomason, an Oakland Police spokesman, Jones was not armed. Thomason would not identify the metal object found on Jones.
At the time of his death, Jones was on parole for a firearms offense.
Relatives and friends of Jones present at OPD headquarters challenged the official account – they claim Jones was shot six to eight times in his back. Police say this Derrick Jones was shot less than five times, and he was not struck in the back.
Sammy Jones, an uncle, said his nephew lived with his wife and daughter, and that the woman who Derrick allegedly assaulted was an ex ((with)) who((m)) he had tried to break up with several times. According to Sammy Jones, this woman had threatened to call the police on Derrick Jones if he kept rejecting her advances.
A cousin, Charles Jones, says the family has been traumatized by the shooting, particularly in light of recent controversy over the killing of Oscar Grant and sentencing of Johannes Mehserle, the ex-BART officer who shot him. The problem, Jones believes, is that many officers who patrol Oakland, like Mehserle and much of OPD, are not from the city and do not live here.
“I think they’re sending people from other cities and they don’t know Oakland to that point, they’re just probably gonna strike out at anybody they see because they don’t know that place,” said Charles Jones. “They’re scared, they’re frightened, they don’t know know Oakland. We know Oakland, we be in here every day.”
The second incident on Monday evening took place across town around 7:30 PM, when two patrol officers stopped a suspected probationer in the 600 block of Sycamore Street close to Martin Luther King Jr. Way. Details of the incident still remain unclear, but Deputy Police Chief Israel provided this account today: when the officers detained the probationer, two people approached the officers to ask them about the arrest . The pair left, and shortly thereafter, one of those two men returned and fired on the officers. Officers flooded the area and located a suspect after an extended search. Copwatch has published video of OPD officers detaining two unidentified passersby at gunpoint.
Aramiya Burrell, a 19-year-old Oakland resident, was arrested in connection with the shooting. No weapon was found on him, and Burrell has yet to be charged by the Alameda County DA. However, Oakland Police believe Burrell is the shooter – he is known to West Oakland patrol officers and has had prior contact with the police.
Officer Thomason said investigators do not believe last night’s shooting on Sycamore Street was linked to an incident in the same neighborhood in July, when a rooftop gunman fired on a West Oakland patrol officer during a car stop.
Oakland Police are asking anyone with information about either incident to contact the Homicide Division at (510) 238-3821.