Councilmember Taplin Statement on May 3 Homicide

May 4, 2022 


I am grieving the loss of another neighbor in the district. We must never let gun violence become an acceptable, routine part of our lives–it is a terrible tragedy and we must do everything in our power to stop the bloodshed for good. 

The City of Berkeley must take serious action now–not next year, not next month, but now. To that end, several colleagues and I are introducing a suite of public safety measures for tomorrow’s City Council meeting, including the restoration of key positions within our police department so they can devote more resources to investigating and solving crimes. 

Police responded to a shooting at the same address late last year. With more full-time staffing, my proposed Flex Team for Problem-Oriented Policing could devote their time to working with the community, and the upcoming Ceasefire program, to address the root causes of violence. This is what my community is overwhelmingly calling for, and it’s long past time for them to be heard. My neighbors have waited long enough. West Berkeley will not be a guinea pig for political experiments, and we cannot expect murders to be solved on overtime alone. Every victim was someone’s child, someone’s friend–we must grieve with them and respond to their tragedy with the respect every human life deserves.