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California baker who died in robbery wouldn't have wanted killer locked up, family says


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Family and friends of an Oakland baker who was dragged to her death during a robbery say that she would not have wanted her killer to be prosecuted.

"I think Jen would affirm that of course that’s what people have been trained to believe is the answer, to lock people up," Emily Harris, a close friend of Jen Angel, told 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."

Angel, the owner of Angel Cakes bakery, died on Thursday from injuries she sustained after being confronted by armed thieves who smashed her car window outside an Oakland Wells Fargo and fled with her belongings. 

Angel tried to chase down the suspects but was caught in their vehicle door as they left the scene and dragged more than 50 feet before her head hit the sidewalk and they drove away.

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Angel was declared dead on Thursday in a hospital following two failed attempts to remove her from life support.

"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," the family wrote in a statement.

Harris, who says she was Angel’s first political mentor, explained that she isn’t saying there should be no "accountability" but that doesn’t mean "putting a person into further harm."

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Harris says she reached out to Restore Oakland, a local nonprofit, about the situation.

The group’s website says it is a "community hub where people come together to cultivate solidarity, restorative economics, and healing justice in their neighborhoods."

"If the Oakland Police Department does make an arrest inn this case, the family is committed to pursuing all available alternatives to traditional prosecution, such as restorative justice," the family said.

The Oakland Police Department is investigating the crime as a homicide and believe two suspects who are known to the department are involved but no arrests have been made.

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