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Anarchist California Baker’s Family, Friends Say She Wouldn’t Want Her Killers Punished

Oakland, CA – Friends and family of an anarchist California baker who was dragged to death during a robbery last week said they hope whoever is responsible for her murder isn’t punished by the legal system.

Jennifer Angel’s fiancé, Ocean Mottley, said Angel was pulling out of a parking spot at the Wells Fargo bank in the 2000-block of Webster Street at about 12:30 p.m. on Feb. 6 when another vehicle pulled up next to the front of her car and blocked her route, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Oakland police said one of two male suspects approached Angel’s car and smashed out a window, then grabbed her purse and jumped back into the getaway car, according to The Mercury News.

Angel, 48, scrambled out of her vehicle and chased after the thieves, but ended up being trapped by the door of the suspect vehicle as she tried to retrieve her purse, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

She was dragged by the fleeing vehicle for approximately 50 feet before she fell into the middle of the roadway.

Mottley said Angel hit her head multiple times during the ordeal, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Angel was rushed to Highland Hospital with severe head trauma and was placed into a medically-induced coma shortly after her arrival, he said.

Doctors removed a portion of her skull to help alleviate the severe swelling of her brain, but the swelling persisted even after the procedure, Mottley told the San Francisco Chronicle.

Angel succumbed to her injuries on Feb. 9, CBS News reported.

“It’s 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. Her official time of death was 5:48pm,” her friends and family said in a statement on her fundraising page.

The Oakland Police Department (OPD) and Crime Stoppers of Oakland offered a reward of up to $7,500 for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for her murder, The Mercury News reported.

Investigators said they also believe the same suspects are responsible for multiple other vehicle break-ins and robberies in Oakland.

But the anti-police baker’s family and friends say Angel would not have wanted anyone to face punishment for killing her.

“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,” they said in a statement on the fundraising page. “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.”

They said Angel, who founded her popular Angel Cakes bakery in 2008, did not believe in “resorting to vengeance and inflicting more harm” in “response to harm.”

“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,” the statement read. “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,” they added.

Donors have contributed more than $147,000 to the fundraising effort so far.

Angel’s friend, Emily Harris, said Angel believed theft and violence were the result of larger systemic issues involving racism and poverty, KGO reported.

“We are really trying to orient towards her brilliant life, and that actually, she is not a person who would support the policing and imprisonment of the people who harmed her,” Harris said.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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