Watch: Oakland Police Chief Rips City Council for Cutting Budget in Crime Wave

LeRonne Armstrong (Gabrielle Lurie / The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty)
Gabrielle Lurie / The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty

Oakland Police Department Chief LeRonne Armstrong slammed the city council on Monday after it decided last week to “redirect” $18 million from the police budget to other priorities in the midst of a crime wave and a spike in murders.

In a video that began going viral on Monday, Armstrong said that while politicians might consider law enforcement “challenges” to be “speed bumps,” those were 65 human lives lost to murder and crime in the city this year so far:

The San Francisco Chronicle reported:

After four homicides over two days, the debate over policing in Oakland intensified Monday when the police chief sharply criticized the City Council’s move last week to redirect about $18 million away from the mayor’s proposed police budget.

Chief LeRonne Armstrong said the budget vote means fewer officers will be on the streets and response to 911 calls will be delayed. He added that a surge in violent crime makes it more crucial to increase police funding and said that the social services and violence-prevention programs meant to replace officers are not fully operational yet. Oakland saw four homicides over Friday and Saturday, bringing the city’s total to 65 for the year compared with 32 at this time in 2020.

“We find ourselves in a crisis,” Armstrong said at a news conference Monday. “We see clearly that crime is out of control in the city of Oakland and our response was for less police resources.”

The White House on Monday tried to deflect blame for defunding police onto Republicans, claiming that they opposed new federal funding for police in President Joe Biden’s coronavirus relief package earlier this year.

But Democrat-run cities have cut police budgets across the nation, meeting the demands of left-wing activists in the Black Lives Matter movement that the party has supported. Biden himself supported efforts to “redirect’ police funding during the 2020 presidential campaign.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

Photo: file


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