Family of Murdered Social Justice Activist Say They Do Not Want Killers Prosecuted

The family of an Oakland, California baker who was murdered in cold blood is saying they do not want her killers prosecuted.

Jen Angel, 48, had been sitting in her car on Monday when a thief broke in and stole her purse. Angel reportedly chased the thief all the way back to his car but was unable to retrieve it. The suspects then attempted to speed away from the scene, with Angel trapped in one of its doors.

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Angel was dragged more than 50 feet by the suspects’ car and was taken to the hospital after suffering severe injuries to the head. According to a statement from her friends and family, she was declared dead after losing all brain function on Thursday.

“It is with a heavy heart that we announce that Oakland baker, small business owner, social justice activist, and community member Jen Angel has been medically declared to have lost all brain function and will not regain consciousness.”

Friends and family said in the statement that Angel did not believe in “state violence, carceral punishment, or incarceration as an effective or just solution to social violence and inequity.” They do not want to see Angel’s killers prosecuted if police are able to locate them.

“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… 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.”

According to the Daily Mail, Angel had previously bragged on Facebook that she taught her employees never to call the police. She was active in several social justice groups and described herself as an anarchist. Before founding her bakery in 2008, she was an editor of the left-wing publication Clamor.

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From Jen Angel’s Facebook / via Daily Mail

A biography listed on Angel Cakes’ website describes her as a staunch supporter of Black Lives Matter. During the George Floyd riots, she openly celebrated the looting on her Facebook page. She promoted several essays supporting the riots, variously entitled In Defense of Looting, Actually, Riots are Good, and Hey, Step Back with the Riot Shaming.

“I think Jen would affirm that of course, that’s what people have been trained to believe is the answer, to lock people up,” her friend Emily Harris said in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle. “But we know that if the people who cause her harm are sent to jail, all we’re doing is perpetuating more harm.”

She continued,

“That doesn’t mean that there isn’t accountability that we would want… What [that] could look like isn’t about putting a person into further harm… but understanding how we’re going to prevent this from happening to the next Jen Angel.”

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According to Oakland Police, 120 people were murdered in the city of Oakland in 2022. The figure is a slight decline from the fifteen-year high in 2021 of 134 but is still 50% higher than the city’s pre-pandemic average.

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