(Headline USA) The mayor of Oakland, California, admitted this week that the far-left push to defund the police went “too far.”
Mayor Libby Schaaf said leftists who attack the police are being unproductive. The real conversation should be about the “root causes” of rising crime and homelessness, she added.
“Defund the police” went “too far and got convoluted,” she said, reported Politico.
“I think everyone agrees we need to invest far more into prevention, into the root causes of crime, and particularly into our mental health system, which is completely failing us, both when you look at crime as well as homelessness,” Schaaf said.
Other Oakland officials, however, have thrown their support behind the defund the police movement. Just last summer, the Oakland City Council voted 6-2 to slash $18.5 million from a proposed increase to the Oakland Police Department’s budget.
Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong slammed the move, pointing out that “crime is out of control” in the city.
“Our carjackings are up nearly 88%. So we see clearly that crime is out of control in the city of Oakland and our response was for less police resources,” he said at the time.
“When City Council members, the majority have voted to defund this police department, that additional $17 million that was reduced from the police department’s budget will have an impact,” he said.
Schaaf agreed and said the “surge in crime” has been “particularly heart-wrenching” because of the progress Oakland was making.
“We had just made national headlines for cutting gun violence in half and sustaining those lower rates for five years,” she said.
This past year, however, Oakland experienced its deadliest year of homicides in more than a decade. Police investigated the killings of 134 people last year, according to the Mercury News, marking the highest homicide rate since 2006, when the number was 148.