Single Gal and the Rise of Violence in San Jose

Over the past weekend, San Jose experienced a crime rate similar to one of the most dangerous cities in California. With three shootings within a few hours, San Jose is starting to become less like the “sleepy city” we talk about. Should we be alarmed, or was this violence just an anomaly?

We don’t yet know what the root of the violence was or if these were gang related. All three took place in East San Jose, which has been a hotbed for crime and gang activity for years. Many people who are pushing for more police presence are now saying that we need it even more with these new developments. However, would more policemen have prevented these murders?  I find that hard to believe. They would have been there to respond after the violent crimes were already committed, so how would more policemen help deter these crimes?  Perhaps a better solution would be if we had more manpower in the prevention of crime, rather than just cops on the street.

Our society is becoming more violent everywhere. It is easier than ever to gain access to guns, and kids grow up in a society where violence is glorified through movies and video games. I am not blaming these things for the violence as such, but when children have no parental influence or positive anti-violence role models, they can succumb to the life of gangs and violence.

Maybe this weekend is just a symptom of our city’s growth and our problems are now on a par with larger cities. If we need more cops on the street, I hope we get them, but I am afraid this violent weekend is going to be used by politicos as a “see, I told you so” about how many cops are on the street. I would like to see us try to get to the root of the problem rather than point to this weekend as an excuse to spend more money in areas where we may not necessarily need it.

Until then, I hope this is the last time we are compared to Oakland—ever.


  1. Some people are so used to referring to anything East of 13th Street as “East San Jose where all the bad stuff happens”.  I’m sure even Single Gal must know that what really makes his alarming is that 2 of these 3 incidents occurred in Evergreen which by most accounts is a pretty nice suburban area.  If it can happen there, it can happen in West San Jose, Blossom Valley, or even Willow Glen.

  2. So how many of these murders take place right outside of nightclubs downtown? Probably not many, considering that’s where 95% of cops are at all times.

  3. To be fair the SJ Cops solved all three murders within a matter of hours. That suggests some very good police work.

    Would more cops on the street have prevented these killings? Not likely. All three involved fights at house parties that escalated to murders. Unless the cops were at the parties it would have been hard to prevent the shootings/stabbings.

  4. With three shootings within a few hours,

    It was 3 murders within a few hours; 2 shootings and a stabbing.  As was pointed out, 2 were in Evergreen.

  5. NamTurk,

    The cops aren’t there because customers or clubs want them.  they are there to shut the club scene down for condos.

    Maybe the mayor can start using is cops for police work instead of doing the dirty work for the condo developers.

    The condo developers should just buy out the clubs they don’t want.

  6. 1) Harsher sentences for gang related/gun violence.

    2) Intensive gang intervention (education, classes, guest speakers, etc.) at the grade school/middle school level; especially in areas with high gang activity.

  7. I wish the police would do blood tests on the suspects to determine their blood lead level.  We already know that lead in the blood of children and adults can cause aggressive, anti-social behavior, and murder falls into that category.

    While the elevated levels of alcohol in their blood certainly had more to do with their behavior than their blood lead level, it still would be interesting to see the data.  Especially since these crimes occur around the local toxic site which is continuously polluting the local air with lead pollution. 

    It would be ironic if at some point it turns out the crop dusting of local residents with lead pollution by Santa Clara county was partially responsible for the issues in this part of San Jose.

  8. The latest hip crime in the Bay Area-takeover robberies—seems to be migrating south. (The last one was in Sunnyvale). That means we can expect them in San Jose any day now. Maybe the police here will have better luck than their counterparts in Oakland in protecting restaurant/shop owners and their customers.

  9. You know why there were 3 murders in one day.  The hot ass weather.  We’re turning into Fresno.  Right Mr. SJPD?  The hot ass weather and illegal immigration lead to these murders.

  10. #4,

    More cops would not prevent the murders but look at SJPD’s response from today’s Merc:

    “At one point there were close to 150 officers working the cases and 40 witnesses making statements in the department.”

    You can bet most areas of the city had few officers on patrol during all the chaos. With extended response times, you have to wonder how many other criminals got away that might have been caught with a fully staffed department.

  11. #7 – I agree. But the intervention needs to start very early. I did a Role Model session last year for a 7th grade class in east San Jose. Feedback from several students was “the anti-gang message is good, but needs to be given to 3rd & 4th graders.”

  12. MC #4,

    Maybe the cops shouldn’t have shut down the downtowns nightlife.  the need for nightlife is heading underground and to houses near every resident in San Jose. 

    These underground parties and house parties are not staffed by competent employees, have no security for city oversight and are not much different than the result of prohibition.

    Kicking the nightlife out of downtown leads to problems like these.  Which is better, busy donwtown with well run regulated businesses or your nieghbor cashing in on the need for nightlife?

  13. Carey,

    Naw i doubt that house parties are poppin as a result of a crackdown in downtown nightclubs.  It’s expensive to go out, not everyone has the means or desire to spend 50-100 bucks just to go out and holla at chicks.  House parties are a more economic alternative.  And I’m sure everyone here has been to a house party before.  Sometimes they just get outta control.  I’m tellin yall, the heat makes people crazy.  Where my criminologists at??  They will let it be known!

  14. Good, let the murder rate rise like Oakland because the city is cancerous since it has blight and no downtown.  The only way to alleviate this is by having a true, vibrant and big-city downtown that would ecco the private investment all over the city and reduce the crime rate.

  15. 10 years ago Clubs were paying about $1 million year directly to off duty Police Officers  

    Council and Police Department had concerns about public perception that clubs had favoritism / inappropriate influence on off duty police officers so discontinued direct payments BUT clubs were supposed to have pay city $1 million year for police overtime costs

    Council and city government has given downtown clubs $10+ million tax subsidy over last 10 years and not following city policy that requires full recover of city service costs

    Clubs generate $400,000 sales tax year but with $1 million tax subsidy = San Jose loses $600,000 taxes per year

    San Jose could have more 8 -12 more cops on streets if downtown clubs paid $1 million dollars per year for Police overtime

    Who is benefiting while San Jose residents are losing $1 million year in recoverable tax costs and have higher crime rates? 

    Downtown property owners, club owners and since city pays lot of costs – tax subsidized Downtown Association

    Follow the money and you can see why San Jose taxpayers have low city services, high crime rates and city raises taxes again – but not for benefit of residents

    PREVENT the wHIte, ANGry, OLd MEn frOM DEStroYING OUR cOMmunitiES.  GIve THEM VAsecTOMIES – THey ARE noT NORmaL.

  17. Hey Pat,

    The city already provides for crime prevention programming through the SJPD, much of it targeting elementary school students. And it gives millions of dollars to CBOs for crime prevention and gang intervention. I think what this weekend shows is that the city obviously isn’t doing enough in this area.

    Would Councilmember Waite work to secure more funding for these programs? Would you stand up to Mayor Reed come budget season as he downplays the violence as cyclical and says that the city should study trends and data? Or would you line up with the Mayor like that other republican on the Council that merely fought against any cuts to crime prevention programming, even though his district has seen its fair share of the increased violence?

    With six of this year’s homicides occurring in D8, can voters trust you to advocate for more crime prevention and gang intervention money, even when Mayor Reed claims that the city is doing all it can?

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