A community news source for residents of the HarriOak neighborhood in Oakland, CA.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

About the Vernon Market

Over the years, the liquor store at the corner of Harrison and Pearl Street has been a source of neighborhood contention. It is primarily patronized by associates of the Pearl Street Gang, an offshoot of the Circle Boys, that commute to the neighborhood in order to sell drugs on the street. (Those little airplane liquor bottles are kept in stock just for them.) A number of shootings, including one homicide, has occurred in the vicinity of the Vernon Market, in addition to ongoing nuisance activity that includes loitering and public urination. Although, truth be told, the nuisance activity has dramatically diminished since the neighborhood got organized a year or so ago.

People to look out for
Joey McWoodson, a leader of the Pearl Street gang who has a stay-away order for the neighborhood, reliably turns up at the Vernon Market. McWoodson is a medium-size African American man with dark skin, large brown eyes and braids that hang to the middle of his back. You've probably noticed him: he's the guy who likes to walk around without his shirt on.

Where the dealers are
If you are new to the neighborhood and wondering where all the action is, favorite places to deal include the corner of 29th Street and Harrison, Stanley Place and until recently, Oak Park. Those guys you see loitering around, yep, they're dealing. It is true that these guys will sell you marijuana (along with other drugs) but they will also hold you up while you are walking down the street early in the morning or walking home from Whole Foods. So by all means fight for the legalization of marijuana and patronize your local dispensary, but please think twice before encouraging violence in our community. If you see activity please call 510-777-3333, and join the dozens of other neighbors who are fighting for to keep our little corner of Oakland safe. You can also call the 510-238-3784, the anonymous drug hotline.

1 comment:

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