'I respect the righteous rage': Oakland mayor says city is prepared for Breonna Taylor protests

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf says the city is prepared for potential protests following the grand jury decision in the Breonna Taylor case in Kentucky Wednesday.

"We are prepared to hold and honor people's grief, their cries for change," Mayor Schaaf told ABC7 News in an interview on Midday Live.

One Louisville officer was indicted for three counts of wanton endangerment, but there were no charges against any officers for their role in the shooting death of Taylor.

RELATED: Social media roars with reaction following indictment in Breonna Taylor case

Many were outraged that the grand jury did not do more, and protesters began marching in Louisville immediately after the charges were announced.

"I respect the righteous rage and grief that so many people continue to feel tragedy after tragedy," Mayor Schaaf said. "We are always going to support peaceful protests. We do not tolerate vandalism and we are clear about the lines between those two."

'SAY THEIR NAMES': Stories of Black Americans killed by police
EMBED More News Videos

Highlights after the country's most significant weekend of protests in a half-century.



Mayor Schaaf added, "This is about not just holding bad cops accountable. It is about changing policies, this tragedy was avoidable. So register to vote, make sure that people in swing states that you know are registered to vote and have a plan to vote.

"These policies matter whether it's passing Congress's George Floyd Act, or a slew of police reform that died on the legislative floor in California this last year. Your leaders matter, so vote, have a plan, get involved."

RELATED: Oakland police station vandalized after hundreds rally in support of Portland protesters

Protests were held in Oakland earlier this year following the police killing of George Floyd in Minnesota. Taylor's case also became a major touchstone for the nationwide protests demanding attention for racism and police reform.

Schaaf said protests are in the city's DNA and history and they've been preparing for this moment for "quite some time."

"We knew (the grand jury announcement) was coming. And so this is something that we are prepared to do. And we encourage everyone to take appropriate steps to be prepared. We are not aware of protests at this time. I should be clear about that. But we are prepared."

Mayor Schaaf also discussed Governor Newsom's recent plans to phase out new gas-powered cars and the city's $20 million grant to fund more affordable housing in the city.

Watch the full interview with Mayor Libby Schaaf in the media player above.
Copyright © 2020 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.