When three-year-old Carlos Nava was shot and killed on the streets of Oakland in 2011, the city’s police force had been depleted. Carlos was out shopping with his mother when a drive-by shooter targeted two men standing nearby at 65th Avenue and International Boulevard. The two men survived, but the toddler’s death shocked the region and horrified even the most calloused observers of Oakland’s seemingly endless epidemic of violent crime.
“If we had the right resources, this could be as safe as any city,” then-police chief Anthony Batts complained to the San Francisco Chronicle. “Maybe the loss of young Carlos will wake this city up.”