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Tipsheet

The Reason Why a Murdered Baker's Family Does Not Want Criminals to Be Punished

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

The family and friends of Jen Angel, a local social justice activist in Oakland, posted a message after she died from injuries she sustained during a robbery about how they do not want traditional justice to be served should police find the people responsible for her death.  

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Angel, the founder of Angel Cakes, was robbed while running errands in her car. After a suspect ran off with personal items into another waiting car, Angel gave chase and somehow got caught in the car door “and was dragged more than 50 feet before falling free in the middle of the street," according to Oakland Side.

She sustained serious injuries and was in the hospital, dying shortly after doctors confirmed she had lost all brain function.

In their post about her death, Angel's family and friends stated they hope her death does not continue the cycle of violence from the authorities:

Friends and family of Jen hope that the story of this last chapter of her brilliant, full, dynamic life is one focused on her commitment to community, on the care bestowed upon her and her family by the people who loved her, and on the generous and courageous role of countless health care workers and public servants who fought to preserve her life. We know Jen would not want to continue the cycle of harm by bringing state-sanctioned violence to those involved in her death or to other members of Oakland’s rich community.

As a long-time social movement activist and anarchist, Jen did not believe in state violence, carceral punishment, or incarceration as an effective or just solution to social violence and inequity. The outpouring of support and care for Jen, her family and friends, and the values she held dear is a resounding demonstration of the response to harm that Jen believed in: community members relying on one another, leading with love, centering the needs of the most vulnerable, and not resorting to vengeance and inflicting more harm. 

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"If the Oakland Police Department does make an arrest in this case, the family is committed to pursuing all available alternatives to traditional prosecution, such as restorative justice," their statement added.

On her social media, Angel posted about having a mask requirement in her shop, "Even if you are vaccinated," and never calling the police for anything.

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