Oakland mayor apologizes for using f-word during speech at Black Lives Matter rally, cites passion

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Clergy members, activists and political leaders teamed up to say "Black Lives Matter" at an event in front of Oakland City Hall on Friday.

The news conference generated such passion that Mayor Libby Schaaf accidentally use the f-word during her speech.

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The event included passionate gospel music and impassioned speakers like George Holland, head of the Oakland Chapter of the NAACP.

"I am in fear like many black men and black women of someone calling the police on me because that may be the end of me or the imprisonment," he said.

The crowd of a couple hundred people of all races gathered to hear local leaders talk about the death of George Floyd while in custody of the Minneapolis Police and the protests that followed. But when it was Mayor Libby Schaaf's turn, her anger over the philosophy that these deaths are the work of a few bad apples in the police department boiled over.

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"This is not about bad apples. Excuse me but f--k the bad apple theory," she said to the astonishment of the crowd which was quickly followed by applause.

It was an exclamation that resonated with people in the audience.

"We knew she was coming from a place of being sincere and showing empathy," said Nicole Pope, an Oakland teacher.

"Sometimes you have to make a point" said a recent college graduate named Davis.

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ABC7 caught up with Mayor Schaaf after her speech and asked her about the statement.

"I don't know if people see just how deeply I feel about these issues. And I apologize. It was not appropriate for me to use inappropriate language at a rally that was organized by religious leaders. It was very inappropriate," said Mayor Schaaf.

That may be true, but for the people in the audience it also seemed to be heartfelt.

Take a look at the latest stories and videos about the investigation into George Floyd's death in Minneapolis and protests across the U.S.

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