Video showing women who appear to be sex workers soliciting right outside St. Anthony’s, a Catholic grade school in East Oakland, is raising concerns about human trafficking in the area.
Parents and city officials tell the I-Team young women, some police believe may be trafficked, are walking outside St. Anthony’s K-8 grade school off E. 15th Street in Oakland at all hours of the day.
Oakland officials say city will enhance patrols and install new cameras after I-Team’s report revealed possible human trafficking outside a school.
Rosa Vargas sees it every day as she drops off her daughter.
“You have to be very alert in this neighborhood, as I told you, they’ve followed me a couple times,” said Vargas, talking about known pimps in the area.
Vargas called the Oakland Police Department as she picked up her daughter from school requesting officers come by to check the area. Just outside her window, a young girl in black stilettos was seen walking across the street from the school
“My daughter asked if I liked what the girl was wearing,” said Vargas. “I told her don’t turn around, don’t look. It’s not OK.”
Vargas says the women are scantily dressed or in some cases, even naked….
Oakland City Councilman Noel Gallo says the problem is getting so bad neighbors are calling him every week complaining they can’t get into their home.
“I get the call saying — ‘Mr. Gallo I can’t get into my home because the pimp is blocking my driveway,'” said Gallo. “It’s constant….”
“We don’t want our students to witness the perils of human trafficking,” said Rodney Pierre-Antoine, who oversees a network of seven Catholic elementary schools, including St. Anthony’s….
If you ask the Oakland Police Dept. – a new law is making it harder for them to crack down.
Previously, loitering with the intent to engage in prostitution was illegal. But SB 357, a bill introduced by State Sen. Scott Wiener repealed that law, in part because he found it to be disproportionately targeting transgender women.
Sen. Wiener answers: ” SB 357 has been in effect for 30 days, this problem has been around a lot longer. So I think it’s a copout frankly for the police to say this law which is brand new is preventing them from doing anything….”
Full story at KGO-TV.