An incident over the weekend in California captured the moral rot that has come to define the front lines police officers man, and the media ignores altogether in a mad rush to report on alleged police abuse.
With first responders trying to respond to the scene of a mass shooting in Oakland to render medical aid, Juneteenth partiers not only stood in the way, one black woman climbed onto the hood of the ambulance and began twerking as the crowd reveled in joy.
According to the Oakland Police Department, the shooting was believed to be gang-related and there were multiple shooters. A 22-year-old man from San Francisco was killed and seven others injured, with the victims ranging in age from 16 to their mid-60s.
Police said there was an estimated crowd of 5,000 people gathered near the scene of the shooting, celebrating Juneteenth. In addition to the woman twerking on the hood, a number of women lined up on the side of the ambulance to twerk, with men coming up from behind to simulate sex, according to video footage shared on social media.
At one point, a man holding a football climbed atop the ambulance as a victim was being loaded inside. He threw the ball into the crowd and pranced around before someone in the crowd threw it back.
**WARNING: GRAPHIC LANGUAGE**
Shooting at Oakland CA Juneteenth celebrations last night, leave 1 dead and 5 injured. This is how people reacted when the EMTs arrived. pic.twitter.com/AcFPciJuzq
— Anthea (@Anthea06274890) June 21, 2021
Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong said the partying crowd even prevented the ambulance from leaving to take victims to the hospital.
“The fact that we had several people shot and injured, we had people who continued to dance on and around ambulances, preventing the ambulances from leaving the area to get people to hospitals so that they can be treated,” the chief told reporters, according to Fox News.
Armstrong did acknowledge that some in the crowd assisted in making way for the paramedics.
“We also had some people that stood up, that actually helped out and helped open up traffic,” he said. “We thank them for their efforts.”
OPD said two men with guns were arrested, but it’s not clear if they were involved in the shooting.
“Immediately after the shooting, Oakland Police Officers observed two men running from the scene with firearms,” the department said on social media. “Both men have been arrested and two firearms recovered.”
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, a Democrat, responded on social media to denounce the violence but said nothing of the crowd’s atrocious behavior.
“It’s heartbreaking a joyous occasion at Lake Merritt was marred by violence. Police in the immediate area tended to victims and apprehended two people with firearms near the scene. Our thoughts are w/ the family + friends of victims, and I thank our officers for a quick response,” she tweeted.
It’s heartbreaking a joyous occasion at Lake Merritt was marred by violence. Police in the immediate area tended to victims and apprehended two people with firearms near the scene. Our thoughts are w/ the family + friends of victims, and I thank our officers for a quick response. https://t.co/MV1D2zTYTp
— Libby Schaaf (@LibbySchaaf) June 20, 2021
On Saturday, Schaaf acknowledged Juneteenth in a tweet: “On this day, we remember the long struggle for freedom and justice for African Americans. We recognize the longstanding, ongoing fight for racial justice, and renew our commitment to the work ahead.”
It’s not clear how twerking on an ambulance being loaded with a victim of gunfire fits in here.
On Monday, OPD posted on Facebook that for the week of June 14 – 20, there were 54 instances of gunfire and that three people were killed. The police department said it has investigated 60 homicides this year, compared to 33 this time last year.
Here’s a quick sampling of responses to the story from Twitter:
Some people have no self respect. Which is why they have none for anyone else. But they are sure making their family and community proud. Smh.
— pzlbox (@pzlbx) June 21, 2021
What is wrong with these people?
— AMC moon tour guide. (@bigjoec5) June 21, 2021
Ah yes, the traditional Juneteenth “Twerk on the ambulance while someone bleeds out.” pic.twitter.com/Ea2jzJXCRE
— Raziel Apollyon 🏴☠️ (@Twitsareangry) June 22, 2021
Why are they acting like this is a party, and not like it was the scene of a shooting? Is this how desensitized they are to shootings in there area? How are the EMT’s supposed to do their job?
— Joe B 🇺🇸 (@burritobritoboy) June 21, 2021
This is depressing and sad. There is so much opportunity and freedom in America. My family dealt with Hitler and fled Stalin and we are grateful to be here. How is it that with so much opportunity, this is what some people choose to make of themselves?
— Collective Stock (@collectivestock) June 21, 2021
It’s a cultural thing.
— Alan Rusch (@AlanRusch) June 21, 2021
Imagine being shot and getting put on a gurney and you get put in the ambulance you look through the windshield and u see somebody standing & twerking on the ambulance. I would have thought I died and went straight to hell. https://t.co/Kd3N1va3Yp
— Sadie (@sadiefoster) June 21, 2021
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