Democratic Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf criticized the city council for their summer proposal to slash the police budget after an innocent man was randomly pushed to the ground in Oakland’s Chinatown in what has now become a wave of violence against Asian residents.
“I want to start by apologizing to the victims of these heinous crimes. I cannot imagine the trauma you, your family, your loved ones and this entire community is feeling as a reverberation from this violence,” Schaaf said Wednesday, noting Oakland is not alone in the recent uptick in crime. Schaaf, however, noted that “the suspension of tactics and resources that we have relied on over the years” has only exacerbated the issues.
Mayor Libby Schaaf joins with Oakland Chinatown Chamber, OPD, and community to address recent crime the area. https://t.co/8FngepnOsj
— Libby Schaaf (@LibbySchaaf) February 3, 2021
“I have not forgotten, that this last summer, [the city council] brought a proposal to cut $25 million from the Oakland police department as a political statement, not because of operational or financial need.” Schaaf said. (RELATED: Democratic Oakland Mayor Votes Down Further Police Budget Cuts After Vandals Defaced Her House)
“If that proposal had been passed, those walking officers would have been gone long ago. So I do not forget that history. We have to pay attention to the financial and policy decision that this council is making during this time,” she continued, noting Chinatown will be provided more resources to combat the recent uptick of hate crimes.
Video taken at the corner of Harrison and 8th streets outside the Asian Resource Center in Oakland shows an elderly man walking down the street when an attack walks up behind him and forcefully shoves him to the ground.
⚠️ WARNING: this video is hard to watch. Another shocking attack in Oakland’s Chinatown. 8th and Harrison Streets. Outside the Asian Resource Center.
— Dion Lim (@DionLimTV) February 4, 2021
The Oakland Police Department confirmed in a press statement to the Daily Caller that the incident took place Jan. 31 and the victim is 91-years-old and was taken to a local hospital for medical treatment following the incident.
The same suspect was also allegedly involved in another incident that same day after he approached a 60-year-old man and a 55-year-old woman from behind that were also walking in 800 block of Harrison Street, according to police. The suspect pushed both victims to the ground, causing the woman to lose consciousness, police confirmed. Both were taken to a local hospital and were treated for injuries.
“Resources have also been re-allocated and additional police patrols have been prioritized for the area,” police said in a statement to the Daily Caller. “Additionally, with the upcoming Chinese New Year, the Oakland Police Department will be providing safety messaging to our communities, including the Chinatown area.”
Chinatown Chamber of Commerce President Carl Chan said the neighborhood is under attack and said since Sunday he’s received more than 20 incident reports and videos of small businesses getting robbed and individuals getting assaulted.
“Unfortunately, they are not only robbing the people, but people are also being hurt,” Chan said during a press conference Wednesday.
“Things are getting out of hand,” he continued. “We need to do something to battle this crime.”
Chan called on the city to immediately reinstate walking patrols and renew its commitment to install surveillance cameras throughout the neighborhood, noting the cameras will help solve the crimes by identifying suspects.
Another surveillance video shows the moment a customer gets robbed by a man who snatches the customer’s wallet as they tried to pay the cashier.
(2/4) watch the man in the doorway enter this Chinatown shop & rob a customer.
One of “at least 20 incidents” according to Oakland Chinatown’s Chamber president. pic.twitter.com/2LA0LosvnE
— Dion Lim (@DionLimTV) February 1, 2021
Chan and other community leaders say February is a dangerous month with the lunar new year just weeks away. Kenneth Lam, owner of a local gift shop, says he feared for his life after three women tried robbing the shop and threatening Lam and his wife, according to NBC Bay Area.
“I got scared when they said they were going to try to kill me, literally,” Lam said. “Something definitely needs to be done.”
The Daily Caller has reached out to Schaaf but did not receive a response at the time of publication.