Sending federal agents to Oakland would 'only cause more civil unrest,' mayor says

ByKayla Galloway KGO logo
Wednesday, July 29, 2020
Sending federal agents to Oakland would 'only cause more civil unrest,' mayor says
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf's message is clear, federal troops are not welcome in her city and would cause more harm than good. "That is very clear for anybody that knows Oakland and I believe that President Trump knows that," she said Wednesday.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf had a clear message Wednesday on ABC7's Midday Live - federal agents are not welcome in her city despite the president's rhetoric.

"I know this community and in this community, sending federal troops in will only cause more civil unrest, more vandalism," the mayor said.

This comes after President Donald Trump suggested last week that he'd send federal agents to cities like Oakland, New York and Chicago in response to protests seen in Portland.

"That is very clear for anybody that knows Oakland and I believe that President Trump knows that and he is actually trying to do harm to our city, not make it safer, actually make it more dangerous," Schaaf said.

Over the weekend, hundreds took part in a protest in Oakland in solidarity with the city of Portland after federal agents' presence heightened tensions among demonstrators.

RELATED: 'This is a bad image for Oakland': Residents, mayor react after courthouse, police station damaged

The Alameda County courthouse in Oakland was vandalized in the demonstration. The damage was estimated at $200,000, according to the sheriff's office.

This week, the Oakland City Council unanimously passed a measure to "keep Oakland safe from President Trump's federal agents."

"Let me be clear: I have no tolerance for vandalism," Schaaf said Wednesday. "It upsets me greatly. It infuriates me. I said earlier this I believe it plays right into the hands of the Trump campaign."

VIDEO: Hundreds rally in Oakland to support Portland protesters

Crowds marched in Oakland to stand with protesters in Portland. Meanwhile, Seattle police declared a riot and made arrests following demonstrations.

Regardless, the mayor does not believe the presence of federal troops in Oakland is the right move.

During the interview with ABC7's Reggie Aqui and Kumasi Aaron, Schaaf also discussed her home being vandalized earlier this month.

The mayor's home was spray painted with messages like "Defund OPD," "Homes 4 all," and "Blood on your hands."

RELATED: Gov. Newsom, Mayor Schaaf reject Trump's offer to deploy federal officers in Oakland

"I'm not going to lie, it was very upsetting," she said.

The Oakland mayor does not condone the vandalism, but says her neighborhood has really stepped up to support her, bringing flowers and power washers in light of the incident.

"This is what Oakland is really about," Schaaf said.

She reiterated she's supportive of Oakland residents' First Amendment rights and the right to criticize city officials.

"We love our first amendment rights to protest, to criticize our elected officials, but we also love our neighbors and I'm just really thankful to mine," Schaaf said.

On the topic of police funding, Oakland's city council approved the creation of a task force Tuesday to explore what a $150 million cut to the police department would look like.

The cut would take place over the course of two years.

RELATED: Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf addresses defunding police, says city needs to invest in reform instead

The mayor reiterated the city is not committed to the cut - but is exploring the potential impact.

"Before we do any more cuts to the police department, it's important that the public understand what they're losing and what they potentially are getting in its place," Schaaf said.

The creation of a task force was passed unanimously Tuesday night by the city council.

The mayor said she looks forward to seeing what the task force finds in terms of the future of the Oakland Police Department.

"People need to be informed about the impact of these choices," she said. "I actually might be absolutely convinced that this redirection of a $150 million would advance safety for my city."

Watch the full interview with Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf above.

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