UpFront w/ Friday Host Marie Choi – Cat Brooks on OPD Shooting, Northern California Wildfires, Back to School – August 14, 2015

OPD Shooting

Nathaniel Wilks.  That’s the name of the 24-year-old black man who was shot and killed by Oakland Police Officers this Wednesday at the intersection of 27th and Martin Luther King Jr. Way in Oakland.  The shooting took place after police chased him across town by car.  Wilks crashed his car, and from there the stories diverge.  Officers say that they were chasing him because the vehicle was linked to an armed robbery, and when they caught up with him, he had just attempted to jack another car and was approaching them with a gun.  Eyewitnesses say that they saw Wilks running away from officers saying ‘OK, OK, OK’ when they shot him in the back.

When police and witness accounts differ so dramatically, how do we find out what really happened?

Guest: Cat Brooks, Anti-Police Terror Project

Rocky and Jerusalem Wildfires

There are currently sixteen active wildfires burning in California. Nearly 150 people were evacuated from their homes in Lake and Napa Counties earlier this week as the Jerusalem fire spread north and connected with the Rocky fire.  Residents are keeping an eye on the winds as firefighters continue to work to contain the fires.  As of last night, the Jerusalem fire was at 24,000 acres – that’s 37 square miles – and 50% percent contained.  The Rocky fire is almost completely contained and burned 70,000 acres – that’s 109 square miles of land.
According to scientists, wildfires are becoming more frequent and severe.  What steps can we take to create ecosystems that are more resistant to and resilient after wildfires?

Guest: Scott Stephens, Professor of Wildland Fire Science at UC Berkeley’s Stephens Lab

Back to School

common-coreWe’re getting ready to head back to school this morning.  The California State Education Board has delayed the release of last year’s Common Core test scores, but New York’s results are out and reports show that a parent-led boycott resulted in 20% of students Opting Out of the test altogether.  Meanwhile in the Bay Area, after years of laying off teachers, we’re now seeing reports that school districts are struggling to fill teaching positions.  So what can students and teachers expect as they head back to school?

We’re talking this morning with Kevin Kumashiro, Dean of USF’s School of Education, and Berkeley High teacher Alex Mejia, and Perry Bellow-Handelman, secretary of the Oakland Education Association and teacher at Coliseum College Prep Academy.


  • Kevin Kumashiro, Dean of USF School of Education.
  • Perry Bellow-Handelman, Secretary of the Oakland Education Association and teacher of ethnic studies at Coliseum College Prep Academy.
  • Alex Mejia has been teaching in the Oakland Unified School District for the past 10 years and is now at Berkeley High.


Alex and Perry are part of Classroom Struggle.

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