Guards sought for news crews in Oakland
Updated 9:38 a.m., Wednesday, November 14, 2012
The violent robbery of a television news crew outside an Oakland school last week was the latest in a series of similar incidents in a city where the rate of strong-arm robberies and holdups is surging.
But the brazenness of the attack - which occurred during a live broadcast in the middle of the day - has brought fresh urgency to the problem.
Union officials who represent reporters at most of the Bay Area's major television and radio stations said Tuesday they had asked the broadcasters to immediately hire security guards to accompany news crews when they are in Oakland. At least one station has already enlisted guards, and others are considering it.
Meanwhile, station managers met Tuesday with Oakland police officials, including Chief Howard Jordan, to discuss the string of robberies, some of which have been committed at gunpoint. One veteran Oakland Tribune photographer, Laura Oda, has been robbed of cameras twice since July.
In a city that is fighting to mend its reputation, the robberies represent a kind of worst-case scenario - with the people who report on crime becoming targets themselves.