OAKLAND -- Police Chief Howard Jordan quickly retracted comments made Monday that two East Oakland-based gangs were responsible for about 90 percent of the city's shootings, homicides and murders since summer.

Jordan said the 90 percent figure originated last summer when police had identified 14 criminal groups operating in East Oakland -- not two.

"I got confused," Jordan said Tuesday.

Jordan said Tuesday that he did not have figures on how much crime the two groups have committed in recent months, specifying only that they are involved in "a high percentage."

Just last week, Jordan said that 15 violent crime groups were responsible for 60 percent of the shootings in East Oakland.

Oakland police Chief Howard Jordan discusses the recent spate of gun violence in the city.
Oakland police Chief Howard Jordan, center, discusses the recent spate of gun violence in the city and the Police Department's proposed response on Jan. 14, 2013, in Oakland. (D. Ross Cameron/Staff file)

That conflicted with his statement Monday that two gangs warring over the murder of a teenage girl in August were responsible for nearly all of the violent crime over the past half-year.

The chief initially stood by that claim, made in response to a question, when pressed by reporters.

Jordan's estimates would have meant that the two gangs were responsible for a staggering 51 homicides and 1,980 robberies since mid-August.

Department statistics do show a bump in violent crime after the Aug. 8 slaying of 16-year-old Taiteanna Turner outside a liquor store. Homicides jumped 50 percent citywide and robberies increased 20 percent in the six weeks following the shooting.

Police have made the two groups singled out by Jordan a key focus of its Ceasefire program that offers gang leaders a chance to give up crime and threatens them with increased enforcement actions if they refuse.

Jordan's misstatement mirrored a statistical error by Mayor Jean Quan last year that also made Oakland's crime problem appear much more concentrated, and consequently easier to solve.

Quan had to retract a key underpinning of her "100 Blocks" crime-fighting plan, which incorrectly held that 90 percent of homicides and shootings had been occurring within a highly concentrated 100 blocks of the city. The actual figure was only 17 percent.

Contact Matthew Artz at 510-208-6435.