Oakland, California is a pretty good microcosm of everything that’s wrong with California’s criminal justice system, including its ridiculous gun control laws. Applying for a two-year concealed carry permit in Alameda County is a “long and tedious process“, in the words of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department, that will run you $195 before adding in the cost of fingerprinting, a psychological exam, and the mandating training course, which is going to price some residents out of exercising their right to bear arms.
Not that city officials have a problem with that. Before LeRonne Armstrong was fired from his position as chief of police in Oakland, he complained about an lawful gun owner intervening to stop a robbery and stated the city needs good witnesses, not armed citizens. That attitude is commonplace among public officials in Oakland, and unfortunately, there’s plenty of crime for residents to see first-hand. Last year Oakland had more than 120 homicides, and the state’s soft-on-crime policies are regularly returning offenders like Adesola Kehinde to the streets with little or no consequences for their actions.
It was just a little more than a year ago that Kehinde was freed from jail after just five months behind bars when he accepted a plea deal after being accused of human trafficking involving a teenage girl who’d allegedly been pimped out to dozens of men by the 37-year-old.
Kehinde’s 2022 plea deal stemmed from an incident in 2021 when a girl he was trafficking secretly texted a social worker that she was being held against her will. The girl later told authorities that she spent two weeks being trafficked around hotels in Oakland from an apartment in Alameda, during which time she was sexually abused by 140 people.
Kehinde was also initially charged with sexually assaulting the girl. But at his June 2022 preliminary hearing, prosecutors conceded they hadn’t established enough evidence to move forward on the sex abuse charges and instead asked only for a holding order on the human trafficking count. Five months later, he accepted a plea deal for time served, probation and sex offender registration, court records show.
While the charges against Kehinde were limited to that two-week period, the victim told police and prosecutors that she’d been trafficked by Kehinde for ten years, starting when she was just 7 years old. Despite those horrific allegations, as well as a previous human trafficking conviction in 2014, Kehinde got his slap on the wrist and was sent on his merry way. Now Kehinde is facing the prospect of slightly more time behind bars after he was recently busted with a gun and another teenage girl in his car.
The San Jose Mercury News reports that Kehinde had been under investigation for the past two months on suspicion of trafficking a runaway teen, with police surveillance capturing him taking the teen to a hotel known for prostitution. It’s unclear why Kehinde wasn’t taken into custody the first time police were able to identify that the teen in question was underage, given that one of the terms of his probation was not to have any contact with minors, but for whatever reason it took authorities weeks to finally move in.
It’s depressing to think that Kehinde’s gun possession could send him to prison for a longer time than what he received for pimping out a teenage girl to dozens of grown men, but that’s the state of California’s criminal justice system at the moment. As for the city of Oakland, crime has gotten so bad that Gov. Gavin Newsom is sending 120 California Highway Patrol officers to assist the Oakland PD in reigning in the lawlessness.
“What’s happening in this beautiful city and surrounding area is alarming and unacceptable,” Newsom said in a statement. “I’m sending the California Highway Patrol to assist local efforts to restore a sense of safety that the hardworking people of Oakland and the East Bay demand and deserve.”
Violent crime increased 21% in 2023 from the year before, according to the Oakland Police Department’s end-of-year crime report. Homicides topped 100 for the fourth consecutive year. Robberies grew by 38% and burglaries by 23%. Motor vehicle theft surged 45% in 2023 from the prior year.
Alarming, unacceptable, and completely foreseen given that Newsom and California Democrats would rather wage war on lawful gun owners than ensuring violent actors, predators, and pimps pay a stiff price for their crimes. There are plenty of reasons why Oakland is experiencing a population loss in recent years, and the surge in violent crime combined with the incredible barriers to exercising the right to armed self-defense is one of them. Putting 120 more cops on the street may provide a short-term political benefit for Newsom, but so long as he and the majority of lawmakers in Sacramento treat lawful gun owners as the biggest threat to public safety I doubt we’ll see any major improvements in the long run.