Protesters gathered outside Mayor Libby Schaaf’s house yesterday as part of a youth-led movement to defund the Oakland Police Department.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported that a march held at dusk on June 10 brought people from across Oakland together to join in the growing number of voices who want to see police departments defunded across the nation, following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis while in police custody.
Santa Rosa Mayor Tom Schwedhelm called for “swift and thoughtful changes to police policies” and the creation of an environment that facilitated healthy community dialogue around reform.
The Chronicle reported that organizers of the protest were urging Schaaf “to redirect police funding toward education and homelessness.”
One of the organizers, Shaylah Ellis, 23, a teacher at Skyline High School in Oakland, said defunding the police didn’t mean cops went entirely without funds.
“I just feel other things could use better funding, rather than police getting almost 50% of the (city) budget,” she told the Chronicle.
A mother who brought her two children, ages 13 and 6, to the protests, Jojo Williams, suggested putting the money into the community toward activities for young people.
Outside the mayor’s house on Oakmore Road, the demonstrators lit candles and held a moment’s silence for the victims of police brutality.
Beleaguered Bay Area Police Call for Peace as Protests Escalate
Amidst rising clamor for the Oakland Police to be defunded, Oakland Interim Police Chief Susan Manheimer detailed the challenges and rising crisis her department and officers are facing.
She said in a public letter that police had to resort to force after several protests had been “disrupted by violence,” CBS San Francisco reported.
Manheimer also said in the letter that 200 businesses had been looted, 137 fires set and more than 300 people had been arrested since the unrest began.
According to CBS, Schaaf said in a statement, “We know that Oakland Police prevent crime and suffering, save lives, and bring resolution and justice to those who’ve been harmed.
“Oakland can ill afford to further defund its police department, as we already have the lowest officer-per-crime staffing levels of any police department in America.”
Schaaf expressed support for police, and the Mercury News reported, “She would not defund the police department as the roughly 3,000 protesters demanded, citing the more than 100,000 emergency calls residents make each year.” Development, not divestment, was required, she said.
Two Men, Erik Salgado and Sean Monterrosa, Have Been Killed by Police Since the Beginning of June, Authorities Say
Video footage released this week shows the moment California Highway Patrol Officers opened fire on Erik Salgado, who police say was traveling in a stolen vehicle, on June 6, killing him and causing his pregnant partner, also in the car at the time, to later lose her baby, according to Salgado’s family.
The Oakland Police released a statement confirming they had conducted a license plate check on a car “driving recklessly.” They confirmed three “CHP officers discharged their firearms in the direction of the driver of the Dodge Hellcat, which was also occupied by a female passenger. … Erik Salgado, 23 years old … later succumbed to his injuries.”
The Oakland Police released a statement on June 9 that they were investigating the incident.
On June 2, a San Jose Police officer fatally shot Sean Monterrosa near a Walgreens Pharmacy in Vallejo, California, Vallejo Police said.