The heinous crime garnered significant attention throughout the Bay Area. Angel, aged 48, had just completed a banking errand in downtown Oakland when a thief shattered the passenger-side window of her vehicle and snatched an item from inside. Although a bystander managed to recover her cellphone and purse at the scene, Angel exited her car to retrieve her belongings. Unfortunately, she became entangled with the fleeing vehicle and was dragged approximately 50 feet before falling off. Following the incident, she was hospitalized and remained in a coma for several days until her untimely death.
Angel, a politically active individual and the proprietor of Angel Cakes in Oakland, had friends who expressed their opinions regarding the appropriate course of action for the perpetrators. They believed that incarceration should not be the solution, as it contradicted Angel's wishes.
According to the East Bay Times, Ishmael Burch, a 19-year-old from San Francisco, has been in custody since June 2 and has been charged with Angel's murder. Police identified Burch as the driver of the vehicle responsible for Angel's tragic demise. Additionally, he was suspected of involvement in a separate robbery that occurred nearby on the same day.
Initially, Burch was arrested earlier this month on a battery charge, and on June 7, he was additionally charged in relation to Angel's death. Court records cited by the East Bay Times reveal that Burch was implicated in the robberies through cellphone data placing him at both crime scenes. Furthermore, surveillance footage depicted him in possession of the stolen vehicle, which had been reported missing from San Francisco on January 29.
Burch is expected to undergo a conventional legal prosecution for the crime in Alameda County, although District Attorney Pamela Price has expressed her reluctance toward extended incarceration.
In response to Angel's tragic passing, her friends and family released a statement expressing their hope that authorities would explore alternatives to traditional prosecution, such as restorative justice. They emphasized that Angel, a long-time social movement activist and anarchist, did not view state violence, carceral punishment, or incarceration as effective or just solutions to social violence and inequality.
"We are aware that Jen would not wish to perpetuate the cycle of harm by advocating for state-sanctioned violence against those involved in her death or any other members of Oakland's diverse community," the statement concluded.