Jen Angel’s kin don’t want jail time for attackers after Oakland baker killed in robbery

Family and friends of an “anarchist” California baker who died after a savage robbery don’t want her still-at-large assailants to go to jail but undergo “restorative justice” instead.

Jen Angel, who ran Bay Area bakery Angel Cakes, was robbed after two thieves smashed her car window and ran off with her purse near a Wells Fargo in Uptown Oakland Monday afternoon, the San Franciso Chronicle reported.

Angel, 48, chased after the duo’s getaway car, but got caught in the vehicle’s door and was dragged more the 50 feet, smashing her head on the sidewalk. She was put in a medically induced coma and declared dead Thursday.  

“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,” her loved ones wrote on a GoFundMe page set up in the wake of the attack.

Jen Angel
Jen Angel died from a violent robbery attack in Uptown Oakland Monday.
Facebook/Angel Cakes

The suspects, who are known to police, were still on the loose as of Friday, according to the Chronicle.

Angel’s loved ones urge the city to honor her memory by making sure that they do not do hard time if caught, according to the GoFundMe page, which has raised more than $138,000 so far.

The group said that they would be open to alternatives to traditional prosecution, such as “restorative justice.”

Friends say that putting Angel’s attackers behind bars would prevent any true healing from being able to take place.
Facebook/Angel Cakes

One of Angel’s friends, Emily Harris, who is an anti-prison director, told the San Francisco Chronicle that the baker was her first political mentor and believed that using prison to punish individuals actually prevented both victims and aggressors of crimes from actually healing.

Locking up the people responsible for her friend’s death would only “perpetuate more harm,” Harris said.

“That doesn’t mean that there isn’t accountability that we would want for (the perpetrators),” Harris said. “What (that) could look like isn’t about putting a person into further harm … (but) understanding how we’re going to prevent this from happening to the next Jen Angel.”

Friend and political activist Pete Woiwode told the Chronicle that Angel regularly turned to the community for help and support in times of trouble, including when a speeding car crashed through her bakery’s window and caused major damage in 2019.

Angel regularly turned to the community for help when she needed it.
Facebook/Angel Cakes

A year later, she reached out to her neighbors and friends for financial assistance again when an unhinged man used a paving stone to smash her store’s window.

“It was totally random, and just unfortunate on so many levels, like the state of mental health care in general and the randomness of that connecting with our big window,” Angel wrote on Instagram after the incident.

Oakland Police told the Chronicle that it was investigating the case as a homicide. 

Major crimes in Oakland are down 9 percent through Feb. 5, compared to the same period last year.

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