robbery capital of america

Oct
2013
05

posted by on Oakland

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**This post has nothing to do with cooking, baking or even beer (sorry). But it’s something very traumatic that happened to me that I felt I need to share. Continue to read if you wish, otherwise I’ll see you on my next post!**

It’s been three months since I was robbed at gunpoint.

They say it eventually gets better. The shock will wear off with time. In some ways, I guess it has. Still, there are so many times I feel like “they” are full of shit. I can’t imagine ever forgetting that first night after I was mugged or how it felt to have it replay in my head every time I closed my eyes.

I try and think about what I could have done differently. Anything and everything from just getting in the cab instead of walking home with a friend to not moving to Oakland at all. I don’t know…

I’ve never been one to not live my life because I was scared of something, especially when it comes to where I live. Even in Oakland, a city that saw more robberies per capita last year than any other city in America. “According to new federal statistics, Oakland had 10.9 robberies per 1,000 residents. And 2013 is shaping up to be even worse,” the San Francisco Chronicle wrote recently.

Having a gun pointed at your forehead changes everything.

In normal life, I could walk down the street without worry. Now, I’m in constant fear that what happened will happen again, even if the odds tell me it won’t.

I walk around with such anger that two young men decided to pin me up against a wall and point a gun to my head. I’m disappointed that the city of Oakland has stretched it’s police force so thin, they aren’t able to do their jobs.

I’m not even sure how to process the rest of my anger, let alone try and explain when something doesn’t feel right to me.

I’ve moved a lot. Crime happens everywhere and can happen to anyone. You can be given “safety” tips, but really, all it takes is a couple of seconds for something bad to happen that will change your life forever.

I appreciate the support and advice I’ve gotten from my close friends and family, but I can tell you, aside from slipping into Superman’s cape for one night, I was completely helpless with that gun barrel staring me in the face.

Recently, I was driving home from work and I saw Oakland PD (a rare occasion, I promise you this) with lights and sirens blazing past me. I immediately thought that whatever they were responding to must be really bad: It took them four days to actually show up and take my statement and file a report.

Where were they when I had a gun to my head? Or when I ran, crying and shaking to the packed Walgreens across the street? I sat in that pharmacy, waiting and waiting…and waiting for them to come and catch the bad guys.

When the police officer finally showed up, he was very thorough, listened to every word I had to say and was even sorry it took them so long to come and take my statement. When we wrapped up he asked if I would be willing to prosecute if they caught the guys.

I probably had the dumbest look on my face when he asked me that. Of course I’d press charges, but it’s been four days and you just finished telling me my bag and everything that was in it were long gone.  It’s crazy to me that a city actually exists where I am considered a low priority because I was not shot or dead. Really?
OPD/City of Oakland: 0 – Crime: 1 

Every city has it’s issues. I’m not here to claim to be an expert on any of that. Oakland is a very diverse place to live and it’s people, from what I can tell, are very proud of where they come from. I have respect for that.

What I cannot tolerate is the city of Oakland and it’s leaders setting the bar so low that it’s considered normal for people to victimize each other with guns, violence and flat out disrespect for human life.

Things could be worse. I am alive and healthy. Trust me, I am more than thankful for that. But I miss how my life used to be. How my brain used to work. How I used to see the outside world.

I don’t blame anyone. Honestly, I don’t. I was in the right place at the right damn time. Unfortunately, this is a part of who I am now. I will carry this with me for the rest of my life.

Here’s hoping that someday I’ll be able to go just one day without thinking about what happened.

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