Sometime late Monday night a group of protesters showed up at Oakland Mayor Libby Schaff’s home and vandalized it with Black Lives Matter slogans. The fact that Schaff’s home had a BLM sign in the window didn’t seem to matter to the vandals.
Oakland authorities are investigating vandalism that appeared overnight on the front of Mayor Libby Schaaf’s home.
Graffiti tagged on the garage door, walls, driveway and pathway appeared to be related to the recent George Floyd protests and the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The writing features phrases like “Defund the police,” “Cancel rent,” “Homes for all,” and “Blood on your hands.”
Here are a few more images of what that looked like:
— Chuck Clifford (@chuckclifford) July 21, 2020
Schaff’s home was the main target but her neighbors weren’t too happy either as the vandals arrived around 2 am and were banging on drums and setting off large fireworks. They also left some graffiti in front of other homes.
“This crosses the line, because it’s someone’s house and property,” 15-year-old neighbor Alexandra Wright said. “It’s not exactly okay. It’s not okay on any level.”
Alexandra’s mom, Amy, said this kind of activism doesn’t further social justice.
I love these well-off progressives with BLM signs in the windows who are shocked to discover that the same mob which has been marauding through Oakland vandalizing businesses and public property don’t draw the line at vandalizing private homes. Guess what? Many of these people are socialists/anarchists who don’t respect private property. It’s not like this is a big secret at this point. Pay attention!
A spokesperson for the mayor issued a statement saying, “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.”
Hours after the graffiti was discovered Tuesday morning, the city council held a meeting to debate slashing the Oakland police budget by $150 million. The President of the Oakland Police Officers Association argued that, with crime on the rise, now was not the time to slash the budget in half:
“We had another murder again last night, three murders over the weekend making it four since just Friday,” said Oakland Police Officers Association President Barry Donelan. “A more than 20 percent increase in murders and shootings combined.”
“You know, adding resources to things like mental health and homelessness are all positive,” Donelan said. “But the idea of taking it from the police department that is already strapped, dealing with those issues in public safety as it is, just seems foolhardy.”
The police officers’ union has warned against additional cuts, as has the chief of police.
“We did furloughs, layoffs, and we still have not caught up,” said Chief Susan Manheimer. “We have over 60 openings.”
When the city council deadlocked around 11 pm Tuesday night, Mayor Schaff cast the deciding vote against cutting the police budget. To be clear, she was probably going to vote this way anyway which is probably why the vandals showed up to apply pressure on her. Still, I wonder if the vandalism didn’t reinforce for Mayor Schaaf that the city needs a police force to prevent everything from descending into mob rule.
Last month, Oakland’s city council voted to approve a new budget with $14 million removed from the police budget. Most of that money, more than $10 million, comes from shifting certain items out of the police budget, but a couple million will come directly from the police budget. As things stand now, the council has agreed to study the feasibility of a 50% cut to the police budget in advance of the next budget meeting. So this very bad idea isn’t dead yet.
Here’s a local news report on the Mayor’s deciding vote to protect the police budget.