When we think of policing, we don’t always think about psychology. One is academic; the other, relentlessly real-world. But many police departments, including San Francisco’s, assign patrols based on a psychological theory: The Broken Windows Theory.
A couple of years ago, Sonny Le and his five-year-old son were approaching their front gate in Oakland’s Glenview neighborhood after school when Le saw two men running towards them.
“One was trying to go behind us – the maneuver trying to corral your prey, basically,” he says. “The other one started coming right at me, at us. He put his hoodie on. It was like, OK, these kids gonna rob us.”
Residents in the city of Richmond are reeling from a recent shooting spree, including the murder of a 19-year-old. The city has had four homicides so far this year – all committed in public, all during the day. And there have been other daytime shootings. They’ve shocked city residents – because crimes like that are no longer the norm.
KALW’s criminal justice reporter Kyung-Jin Lee joined Holly Kernan in studio to talk about the crime drop in Richmond – and what other cities can learn from Richmond’s approach.
Corner stores in Oakland are predominantly run by immigrants from the Middle East. Most of the merchants are originally from Yemen. Some estimates report that 80 percent of Bay Area convenience stores are operated by Yemenese.
One of those stores is Foothill Market on 19th and Foothill in Oakland’s Fruitvale district. The Hassan family runs it. Ali Farrad Hassan is a first generation Yemeni-American, and has been working in his uncle’s store for a few years now.
Oakland is known for its food trucks, which serve everything from tacos and tamales to West African cuisine. But few know that this latest culinary trend got its start in Fruitvale almost 30 years ago. Fruitvale still has the city’s largest concentration of mobile food vendors – a predominantly immigrant population. These micro-businesses provide owners low overhead and the opportunity to become successful entrepreneurs. But if running a small business isn’t hard enough in this economy, vendors now face the added challenge of armed robbery.