Police Blame Defund Movement for Oakland Bloodbath
Oakland, CA on Monday, September 13, 2021, was a “bloodbath” according to Sgt. Barry Donelan, president of the Oakland Police Officers Association. Homicides in Oakland increased from 67 by September 2020 to at least 93 by September 2021, which amounts to a 38.8% increase. “This devastating violence is brought to you by the majority of Oakland’s City Council that defunded the police that discounts the plight of Oakland’s victims of violent crime, and hide behind their zoom screens, ignoring the decade-high violent crime occurring on city streets,” said Donelan.
Multiple local news agencies reported 3 homicides and 4 wounded on Monday. One incident was an officer involved shooting where federal agents attempted to apprehend a suspect who claimed to be armed and was subsequently killed. A separate double homicide occurred, as well as an incident where 3 were shot outside of BART. Another victim was shot hours later. Aside from the shooting involving federal agents, none of the other shootings involved officers, and they are currently being investigated by the Oakland Police Department. These incidents are currently viewed as unrelated issues, but all of them paint a clear picture: defunding the police doesn’t work, and Oakland is paying the price.
Defund the Police is a movement that has swept the nation as social justice warriors on the left call for sweeping police reforms. It involves the removal of funding for police departments at all levels of government, and also removes officers from patrolling colleges and schools. It’s based on the idea that police reform doesn’t work, so the police should be abolished. The movement also operates on the understanding that people will commit less crime if violations of the law can be handled through alternative means. The movement has gained a strong foothold in California, especially in Oakland.
Currently Oakland has its lowest number of officers, below 700, in the last 6 years. The Oakland Police Officers Association comments that due to the city council’s moves to reduce funding and support, as well as vilify the police department, residents now have to wait longer for service calls to be answered, which in turn allows for more crimes to be committed.
The city council in Oakland has disbanded traffic, walking patrols, and community resource positions in their effort to defund the police. Federal agencies are stepping in to assist as evidenced by the shooting of a suspect Monday. The City Council needs to return funding to the department and allow the police to do their job of protecting the public.