Around the same time the Biden White House started trying to make its case that it’s Republicans and not Democrats who are defunding local law enforcement, Democrats in the crime-ridden city of Oakland, California voted to cut another nearly-$20 million in funding from the city’s police budget.
Oakland City Council president Nikki Fortunato Bas, a Democrat, was unapologetic over the vote, calling it “historic” and portraying it as a positive step for the future of the city.
“I think yesterday was very historic,” she told ABC7 News. “We’ll be standing up a program called MACRO for alternative crisis responders, to handle mental health issues. We will be having our department of transportation handle issues that police typically handle, blocked driveways, auto tows.”
She also hinted that more cuts could be coming in the near future, telling the local news outlet that “because police have the largest share [of the budget], there could be more redistribution.”
Understandably, Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong was not amused. During a press conference Monday, Armstrong made one of the most powerful and passionate cases against taking money away from police department budgets, saying that it was easy for politicians to reduce lives hurt and lost down to numbers while police officers had to see first-hand the devastating real-world consequences of powerful public figures playing woke games while people died in the streets:
“I’m challenged by the decisions that were made on Thursday around the budget for the city of Oakland, particularly for the Oakland Police Department,” Chief LeRonne Armstrong said in a news conference.
“We see clearly that crime is out of control in the city of Oakland, and our response was for less police resources … when City Council members — the majority of them have voted to defund this Police Department. That additional $17 million will have an impact,” he added.
“We already have a tough time responding to the high number of calls that we get. This will make it tougher, having less officers in the field, particularly for marginalized communities,” he added.
“Saturday night, I went out to a scene of a young man who lost his life, and a lady yelled out the window, ‘Do something about it.’ Without the resources, it makes it challenging to make Oakland safe, and more families find themselves dealing with trauma,” the chief said.
“I hope that we could politics aside and put public safety first. Put people’s lives first before political agendas,” he added.
Chief Armstrong, who was born and raised in West Oakland, was clearly emotional during the presser as images were flashed to his right of Oakland residents who had been murdered. Watch:
WATCH THIS: Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong speaks after the city council voted cut millions away from his department's budget amid crime surge. pic.twitter.com/2y4R78CU5Y
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) June 28, 2021
"We find ourselves in a crisis. We find ourselves reeling from a weekend of violence where we have seen four homicides over a three-day period. It now has us currently at 65 homicides for the year – that's a 90% increase compared to last year," Chief Armstrong said.
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) June 28, 2021
As the Ben Shapiro saying goes, facts don’t care about your feelings, and in this case, the facts about the surging crime rate in Oakland (and other Dem-run cities in America) don’t justify drastic budget cuts (they were actually considering cutting much more, but settled on the $17 million for now) just implemented.
Worst of all, the cuts will most directly and negatively impact marginalized communities, something Armstrong noted but which Democrats don’t like to admit out loud because it undercuts their surface justifications for defunding in the first place (to help communities supposedly hurt most by excessive police force), all while the same “leaders” who push for such cuts have taxpayer-funded security at their beck and call.
As usual, it’s the citizens who pay the ultimate price when politicians decide to play political games with their lives. It’s stupidity on steroids, but they don’t care as long as they continue to rack up “woke” points and get invited to all the right cocktail parties as the bodies continue to pile up.