9Nov

Some Having Second Thoughts About Defunding Police As Oakland Homicide Rate Spikes

Isa Ryan

The City of Oakland, California, has long been known for its high crime and rough neighborhoods.

Naturally, city leadership is as progressive as it gets—remember Mayor Libby Schaff, who tipped off hundreds of illegal immigrants, many of whom were violent criminals, of an impending ICE bust back in 2018?

Well, although the city’s initial response to the resurgence of Black Lives Matter riots and rhetoric of the past six months has been to unanimously vote to reduce the city’s police budget by 50%, some involved in seeing this to fruition are having second thoughts.

Oakland is a city that is typically known for its need for more police officers, but in July, Hot Air explains, the City Council agreed to form a task force that would establish a plan to “reconstruct public safety” with the aim of cutting the police department’s budget by 50% over the next two years.

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“But something has happened in Oakland since that vote was taken,” the outlet continues.

“Violent crime is up. There have been 84 homicides in Oakland this year so far compared to 58 last year. The neighborhoods most affected by the surge in violence now say they want the same or more policing, not less.”

What seems to be happening is that clueless liberals with pie-in-the-sky ideas about the realities of living in Oakland’s crime-ridden neighborhoods are only aware of the rhetoric on police brutality, and not the violent, pervasive crimes that residents need police officers to help reduce.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

A wave of gun violence engulfed the flatlands in East Oakland, home to the city’s most impoverished neighborhoods. Homicides spiked. Policymakers — and even the most devoted reformers — had to confront a paradox: that the Black and Latino neighborhoods most threatened by police violence are also the ones demanding better and more consistent law enforcement.

Task force members agreed that police brutality against Black and brown people is too common, that gun violence needs to end and that the city needs more services to address the underlying causes of crime. But while advocates wanted swift, dramatic change, others felt conflicted. In neighborhoods with high crime and slow police response times, Black residents winced at what sometimes felt like preaching from outsiders.

A poll released last week by the Chamber of Commerce showed that, citywide, 58% of residents want to either maintain or increase the size of the police force. That figure climbs to 75% in District 7, an area of East Oakland where gunfire exploded this summer.

Notably, the poll showed that support for increasing the size of the police force is higher among Black voters, at 38%, than white voters, at 27%.

One member of the city’s Remaining Public Safety Task Force, Ginale Harris, who is no doubt far from a Trump voter, told the Chronicle that when the group had recently met to discuss plans to defund the police, no one brought up a horrific shooting that had happened just one night prior.

But she was there.

“People popped onscreen to share bold, sometimes controversial ideas, such as keeping police out of homeless encampments and away from sexual assault cases, banning officers from responding to mental health crises and separating the police force from its 911 dispatch center,” the Chronicle explains.

“The night before, someone had fired 60 rounds outside [Harris’] house, a few blocks from the shooting on 84th. Harris and her 12-year-old son had ducked for cover when they heard the bullets hitting cars and homes,” they continue.

“You got 100 people coming on there, and nobody says one thing about it,” Harris said later, a sob reportedly “catching in her throat.”

These stooges are hell-bent on learning the hard way.

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