Oakland mayor’s home vandalized over vote to not defund the police
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf (D) found her home vandalized in the early morning hours on Tuesday just hours before she voted against defunding the police department.
ABC7 News in Oakland reports that around 2 a.m. people began shooting projectiles at the mayor’s home and graffitied her house with spray paint. The messages spray-painted on the house included “DEFUND OPD,” “TAKE RESPONSIBILITY” and “WAKE UP LIBBY.”
The mayor’s spokesman said that she would not be intimidated by the vandalism.
“An attack at the home of a publicly elected official does not advance democracy,” the spokesman said. “This attack, designed to intimidate the Mayor and strike fear into her family, will not stop her from advocating for the policies she believes are in the best long-term interests of her beloved hometown.”
Schaaf’s vote was the deciding vote not to defund the city’s police department. The Oakland City Council has already redirected $14.3 million from the department.
The mayor is open to some police officers being replaced by social workers who can respond to traumatic scenes and that she says are unrelated to law enforcement.
“We are excited, as many cities are, to reimagine public safety,” Schaaf said. “And that means not just to reform the police, but to replace the police with more trauma-informed and care-based, community-led responses that really don’t warrant a badge and a gun.”
She said the city has a full Department of Violence Prevention that is led by a social worker with the same rank as the police chief.
“And these are community-based medics and clinicians that respond to mental health and other appropriate, non-law-enforcement-type needs,” she said. “To have a different kind of response to send out to these 911 calls is something that I believe we all are going to migrate to, and even faster because of the current demand from our communities.”
Oakland is one of the cities that President Donald Trump said he may send federal agents to in order to crack down on crime.
“I’m going to do something, that I can tell you. Because we are not going to let New York, and Chicago, and Philadelphia, and Detroit, and Baltimore, and all of these, Oakland is a mess, we’re not going let this happen in our country. All run by liberal democrats,” Trump said Monday.
Schaaf pushed back at Trump saying her city desperately needs COVID relief not troops from the president.
“He should stop slandering diverse, progressive cities like Oakland in his racist dog whistles and divisive campaign tactics. We are not experiencing any civil unrest right now. But the presence of Trump-ordered military troops to Oakland would likely incite it,” Schaaf said.
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