Security high at Oakland Lakefest in wake of Lake Merritt Juneteenth shooting

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) — A summer festival on Oakland’s Lake Merritt took place Saturday, just days after gun violence rocked the end of Oakland’s Juneteenth celebration on the lake. The organizers of Lakefest say they’re determined to keep violence from marring their event.

“Lakefest is a family picnic,” said Trevel Adanandus. Adanandus was ready to greet the public at Lakefest, the event he founded on Lake Merritt.

This year, attendees were lining up outside for a security check. The festival was surrounded by blocks of fencing. Adanandus said it’s all about safety.

“We gated the whole park, checking bags to make sure no one has weapons,” Adanandus said.

On Wednesday night, gun violence rocked a Juneteenth celebration near Lake Merritt. Oakland police say 15 people were wounded in the shooting. It’s one of the largest shootings in city history.

RELATED: 15 shot after ‘sideshow’ took over a peaceful Juneteenth celebration in Oakland, police say

“A lot of my friends who are older — I’m 74 — said, ‘I don’t know, Sandra, if it’s going to be safe,” said Sandra Black.

Black said she isn’t seeing big crowds at Lakefest like last year but assured her friends the festival is safe in the wake of the shooting.

“It’s great, it’s safe, plenty of police around. We cannot let these knuckleheads interfere with us living a good life,” Black said.

OPD provided a large police presence of 30 to 50 officers at Lakefest — inside the event and out, with numerous street closures.

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“So naturally, there are some concerns. You can’t help it,” said Jade Le.

Lemonade 510 owner, Jade Le, was a bit reluctant about being a vendor at Lakefest but appreciates the security measures around the event.

“This happened, unfortunately. There is violence in America. There is violence in Oakland. We’re going to move on and have a safe environment,” Le said.

Big Serge Oseguera has been barbecuing delicious things at Lakefest for years.

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“This is our third. Never seen a fight, anyone arguing ever. Everybody’s here for a good time,” Oseguera said.

Adanandus was hoping 15,000 people would show up for Lakefest for a safe, relaxing day.

“There aren’t many things to do in Oakland where we come together as one culture and enjoy ourselves. We’re hoping we can continue doing that,” Adanandus said.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.