Thursday, August 2, 2007

It's a civil war -- we can't win, so let's just pull out

This from today in Oakland, California:

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- The outspoken new editor of the Oakland Post was shot to death Thursday near a downtown courthouse in what police suspect was a deliberate hit.

Chauncey Bailey, 57, was killed around 7:30 a.m., Oakland Police spokesman Roland Holmgren said. Witnesses told police a man wearing a mask shot Bailey multiple times and then fled.

Police had no motive for the killing but said it did not appear to be random. Holmgren said investigators would look into any possible connections with Bailey's work.

The terror elements in Oakland have graduated to silencing the free press, and Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums, the former Congressman who took over for Jerry Brown when the ex-governor was elected California's Attorney General, is at a loss for what to do.

Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums said Bailey will be missed.

"It is a tragedy when any person loses his or her life by an act of violence. The crime and violence on Oakland streets presents me with the most painful and difficult challenge I've ever faced," Dellums said in a statement.

Come on, Mr. Mayor, if you were still in Congress, you'd know exactly what to do: declare defeat and call for a redeployment to, say, Montclair (the affluent hill neighborhood of Oakland). Or perhaps Oaklanders could seek asylum in Piedmont, the upscale bedroom community (though a separate city, it is completely encricled by Oakland proper).

Maybe Mayor Gavin Newsom in San Francisco should consider the same strategy. Gang warfare in his city is spilling over from the slums and housing projects into the heart of the downtown shopping district.

Street fire: San Francisco's drug wars rose to a dramatic new level with a gangland-style slaying in broad daylight that was within earshot of the Powell Street cable car turnaround, one of the city's biggest tourist magnets.

Police said the shooting might have been a battle in a turf war between San Francisco and East Bay gangs for control of the Tenderloin. If so, it played out before an audience unaccustomed to such sights -- about a dozen diners at Puccini & Pinetti, a fashionable restaurant at Ellis and Cyril Magnin streets, who dove for cover when the occupant of one car began shooting at another car with a semiautomatic rifle at 4:40 p.m. Monday.

When it was over, two people in the target car had been wounded. One of them, 20-year-old Charles Rollins of Contra Costa County, later died. The shooter's car drove off and got away.

Bad as it was, it could have been worse. Three bullets hit the restaurant, including one that smashed a window right where two patrons had been drinking just moments before.

It was the second shooting of the afternoon in the tourist-laden area. Two hours earlier, a man was shot in the foot at Turk and Mason streets and made it to Fifth and Market before collapsing.

Police don't believe the two shootings were related, but that doesn't make anyone feel much better.

U.S. out of California! Support our local police -- send them home!

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