Liberal Gov. Floods City With Surveillance Cameras

( – California Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom made a significant announcement on March 29. He plans to deploy nearly 500 surveillance cameras across Oakland and its surrounding freeways to address the city’s escalating crime rate. However, this move has sparked a wave of criticism from social media users, politicians, and commentators. They argue that the decision’s implications could pose serious threats to the privacy of Oakland’s residents.

In a news release, the Democratic leader said that Flock Safety and the state Highway Patrol have joined efforts to install 480 cameras that would be able to track and identify vehicles by color, type, and license plate. He also said that these cameras are so technologically advanced that they can even identify bumper stickers. As reported by The Associated Press, these surveillance cameras will give state authorities real-time alerts of every suspected vehicle.

Newsom also dismissed any criticism of the measure and what legal analysts considered a severe infringement on privacy, as he claimed that the surveillance network will provide law enforcement with more tools to “combat criminal activity.” He added that these new tools will guarantee that perpetrators can be held accountable, which he said would build stronger and safer communities.

Over the last 12 months, Oakland has experienced a massive crime increase, with local authorities claiming that the efforts made to solve the problem haven’t met the expected results. According to a San Francisco Chronicle report published in August 2023, murders increased 37 percent in Oakland compared to 2019. The newspaper also revealed that robberies increased by 30 percent in the city in the same period, while car break-ins and car thefts skyrocketed to 40 percent.

The crime crisis has been so overwhelming in the city that In-N-Out Burger had to close its only restaurant in the city, representing the first closure in the burger chain’s 75-year history. Some reports said that the main problems the restaurant was dealing with were robberies, property damage, and car break-ins.

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