Family and friends of Jen Angel — a 48-year-old woman who died on Thursday as a result of injuries sustained days earlier during a violent robbery in Oakland, CA — urged authorities not to pursue “traditional prosecution” against anyone charged with crimes causing her death due to the decedent’s support of “social justice” and opposition to “state violence.”
Angel’s family and friends published an open letter on the day of her death relaying their assessment of her philosophical and political views. Angel was a “social justice activist” and “anarchist” opposed the “state-sanctioned violence” via incarceration of convicted criminals, they wrote:
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.
The letter included a request from Angel’s family for “restorative justice”:
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. Jen’s family and close friends ask that the media respect this request and carry forward the story of her life with celebration and clarity about the world she aimed to build. Jen’s family and friends ask that stories referencing Jen’s life do not use her legacy of care and community to further inflame narratives of fear, hatred, and vengeance, nor to advance putting public resources into policing, incarceration, or other state violence that perpetuates the cycles of violence that resulted in this tragedy.
Angel died after being removed from a medically-induced coma following injuries she sustained during a robbery on Monday. The San Francisco Chronicle reported on the details of Angel’s death:
Jennifer Angel was leaving her parking spot in the lot of the Wells Fargo on the 2000 block of Webster Street on Monday afternoon when a car pulled up in front of her and blocked her from leaving, her fiance, Ocean Mottley, told The Chronicle. A robber then broke her passenger side window and grabbed something from the car, after which Angel ran after the suspects, Mottley said.
In the process of trying to chase them down, Angel, 48, got caught in the door of the fleeing vehicle and was dragged more than 50 feet before falling in the middle of the street, hitting her head multiple times, Mottley said.
Local authorities have not made any arrests in connection to the deadly robbery.