OAKLAND -- As police work to identify the young man shot and killed near the Occupy Oakland encampment Thursday night, the police union president is asking protesters to leave so officers can get back to "protecting the citizens of Oakland."
A man in his 20s, who Occupy Oakland media team member Shon Kae said was not camping at Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, was shot and killed at 14th and Broadway, not far from the 30-day-old Occupy Oakland camp, about 5 p.m. Thursday.
Police said Friday night that one of the suspects in the shooting has been seen at the encampment at different times in the past several days.
Police released descriptions of the two suspects Friday. Both are African-American. One is 20 to 25 years old, 5 feet 9 inches, 150 pounds and has short hair. The other is in his 20s to 30s, 5 feet 9 inches to 5 feet 11 inches, 250 pounds, has long dreadlocks with red tips, possibly a tattoo on the back of his neck and is wearing a black hooded sweatshirt. Anyone with information can call police at 510-238-3529.
The name of the victim has not been released by police pending notification of his family. He may have been in a fight with another man before he was killed, but police are still investigating the incident and have released no details. No one has been arrested.
A shrine was set up near the spot where the man was shot, and people have left notes and lit about 100 candles in his honor.
This is the first slaying near the camp, but there have been fights, reports of sexual assaults, rat infestations and other unsafe and unhealthy conditions at the camp, which started on Oct. 10, was torn down by police on Oct. 25 and then rebuilt a day later.
In a letter Friday, the Oakland Police Officers Association, or OPOA, said the 645 Oakland police officers the union represents have had enough.
"In light of yesterday's violence, enough is enough. What more needs to happen? We would like to see the protesters leave peacefully," said OPOA President Sgt. Dom Arotzarena.
The letter, posted on the union website at opoa.org, says police officers understand and sympathize with Occupy Oakland's message and respect their right to peaceful protest.
"We are also sworn to protect the citizens of Oakland. Right now, Oakland is in a state of emergency," the letter says.
"Our police officers are the 99 percent struggling in Oakland neighborhoods every day to contain the 1 percent who rob, steal, rape and murder our law-abiding citizens."
"In an average city in California, this might not be of emergency proportions for its citizens. Oakland is not an 'average city' -- we have the highest violent crime rate in California. We are the 5th most violent city in the United States -- with more shootings and homicides than any city west of the Mississippi," the letter says.
Mayor Jean Quan, most of the City Council and downtown business leaders have also made pleas for campers to pack up and leave.
The slaying Thursday marked 101 homicides in Oakland this year. At this time last year, there were 76 homicides.
The city has spent more than $1 million since the Occupy Oakland encampment started.
During the Oct. 25 raid and the subsequent clash between protesters and police, when more than 100 were arrested, police also called on at least 15 other police agencies for help.
"It is time for us to stop directing all of our efforts at policing the small enclave of Occupy Oakland and get back to our job of protecting the citizens of Oakland in the neighborhoods where our residents live," the letter says.
Staff writers Scott Johnson, Angela Woodall, Josh Richman and Thomas Peele contributed to this story.
Officials released a description of two suspects in the shooting.