Oakland vigil calls for ‘radical solutions’ after alleged sex workers were seen soliciting outside St. Anthony’s Catholic School

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) — Less than a week after ABC7 News’ I-Team published a story about alleged sex workers soliciting just outside an Oakland Catholic school, the community is responding.

A vigil was held Tuesday night at St. Anthony’s Church in East Oakland for victims of human trafficking.

Candles were lit Tuesday night outside St. Anthony’s Church in East Oakland as dozens of people prayed for results and solutions.

Recent footage shows young women outside St. Anthony K-8 Elementary School, appearing to be soliciting sex.

RELATED: Video showing alleged sex workers soliciting outside East Oakland school sparks call to action

“Tonight, we are one with an urgent need for radical solutions,” said Rodney Pierre Antoine of Lumen Christi Academies.

ABC7’s Stephanie Sierra first showed you a video of the alleged solicitation in her I-Team report.

She introduced Rosa Vargas, a concerned parent who again said on Tuesday that the women were always there near the school at all hours of the day.

“We need to start installing surveillance cameras to monitor closely. Have the evidence in hand to start prosecutions,” Vargas said.

Although this vigil focused on the problems, the spotlight was also on the solutions.

RELATED: Oakland Police, FBI Take Steps to Assess Traffic Issues Near School After I-Team Report

“It is through these efforts that the City of Oakland will now be implementing traffic diversions here on East 15th,” said an attorney and member of St. Anthony’s Church.

Unfortunately, the deputy chief says that on their way to the event in St. Anthony’s, they encountered a 15-year-old girl from Southern California on a nearby corner.

“So this 15-year-old Southern Californian is brought into the police department for full service and hopefully placed in a position where she can actually resolve some of the drama that she lived,” Oakland Deputy Chief of Police James Beere said.

Beere says that last year 169 people were arrested for prostitution-type crimes. Eight children have been rescued, but the deputy chief believes more needs to be done community-wide to address this issue.

“I’m not going to stop our outing, we have to come together. We’re just a small part of the answer to this problem,” Beere said.

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