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Oakland Mayor Says Defund The Police Drive 'Went Too Far'

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf called for more investment in addressing the "root causes" of violent crime but stopped short of advocating for defunding the police, reports Politico. She argued that the movement's goals "went too far and got convoluted." After five years of reduced gun crime and violence, Oakland faced the deadliest year in the past decade in 2021. Schaaf said that investments in housing and mental health would reduce the record crime rates. She said, “When we listen to the communities that have been most impacted and when you look at gun violence, the communities that are paying the highest price are the communities that are paying the highest price in all areas, whether it’s income inequality, food insecurity, housing insecurity, and so we are hearing loud and clear that justice is something that they want,”

The Oakland mayor said that conversations about criminal justice reform are important and says she sees the increase in "tough on crime" rhetoric as a response to the call to defund the police by activists. Cities like Los Angeles and Phoenix have increased their police budgets in the past year. Schaaf said the shift in rhetoric and response to crime, including the increase in the Los Angeles police budget and San Francisco Mayor London Breed's crackdown on the "reign of criminals," are responses to the defund the police movement.


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