Oakland police chief slams city council after $18M is slashed from PD as crime and murder spike


OAKLAND, CA- During a live press conference on Monday, June 28th, Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong blasted the city council for slashing the police department’s budget by $18 million in the midst of a crime wave and a surge in homicides. 

Chief Armstrong stated that the city was “reeling” from a murder rate that is 90 percent higher than the same time in 2020. During the press conference, he said:

“Today, we find ourselves in a crisis. Put people’s lives first before political agendas. Without resources, it makes it challenging to make Oakland safe.”

Armstrong added that shootings are also up more than 70 percent and carjackings by almost 88 percent, with 1,300 robberies recorded with barely six months into 2021. In speaking about the budget cut approved by the Oakland city council just a week prior, Armstrong added:

“We see clearly that crime is out of control in the city of Oakland and our response was for less police resources.”

He stated that the majority of the city council members voted to defund the police department. He added:

“When you hear the statements from those that say nothing will change, that is not true. Yes it will. The impact will be immediate.”

Armstrong was particularly angered. by activists and politicians who argued that there would be a “bump in the road” as police departments lost key resources. He added:

“For me, those speed bumps are 65 lives lost so far this year. All of these crimes are not speed bumps. These are people.”

According to the department, this same time in 2020, there were 35 murders recorded. As Armstrong spoke at the press conference, photos of some of the city’s latest murder victims were displayed behind him.

As the photo of 53-year-old LaShawn Buffin appeared, Armstrong had to pause to compost himself as he highlighted her murder that took place on January 19th. He said:

“This is my god-sister. That means something to me. When the yellow tape is gone and when the streets are cleaned up, there is still hurt and pain and tragedy in our community.”

According to reports, Armstrong said that 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 even more crucial to increase police funding. Between Friday, June 25th and Saturday, June 26th, Oakland saw four homicides. 

During the briefing on the morning of June 28th, Armstrong discussed how the change in funding and reduced ability to hire new officers would prevent Oakland police from adequately completing day-to-day tasks like traffic enforcement and responding to emergency calls. He stated:

“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 like deep East Oakland where we see two-thirds of our calls coming from.”

On Thursday, June 24th, the Oakland city council voted to redirect $18 million from Mayor Libby Schaaf’s proposed budget to alternative forms of violence prevention and harm reduction. The funding in Schaaf’s proposed budget would have supported the addition of two police academy classes to the city’s usual four over the next two years.

Armstrong argued that the city was making a false choice between funding the Oakland Police Department and the city’s Department of Violence Prevention, which aims to reduce local violence and crime via non-punitive measures. He stated:

“It was a budget designed to make sure that we had both. That we had an adequate number of officers for the Oakland Police Department to address the increased number of 911 calls that we continue to see, but also to work closely with our violence interrupters so that we can help prevent violence as well.”

Armstrong also argued that the city has failed to grow the police department over the last decade in tandem with Oakland’s population growth. Reportedly, the Oakland Police Department currently has 744 officer positions staffed, but is authorized to staff as many as 788 officers. 

Armstrong stated that since 2013 the city has not added officers to the police force while the city’s population has grown from roughly 395,000 to 433,000. He added:

“This city will continue to grow. And the investment can be on both sides. It can be in violence preventions, but it also needs to be with growing a police department that has been severely under-resourced.”

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Caught on camera: 91-year-old man violently attacked in Oakland’s Chinatown

February 5th, 2021

OAKLAND, CA – A recent video that has been circulating online depicting a 91-year-old man being mercilessly shoved to the ground by an unknown assailant has put Oakland’s Chinatown on edge over concerns of seemingly unprovoked attacks, such as the one featured on the video.

The video in question depicts the elderly victim being violently pushed to the ground by an individual walking behind him along the corner of Harrison and 8th Street right outside of the Asian Resource Center.

The president of the Chinatown Chamber of Commerce, Carl Chan, believes that the neighborhood is essentially under attack, in a sense, due to violence of this nature occurring.

Chen has reportedly documented over 20 incident reports and videos of instances of small businesses getting robbed and both customers and business owners being assaulted.

One of these videos depicts a woman inside of an herbal shop where a suspect enters the establishment and steals the woman’s cash before running off.

During a recent press conference, Chan, while accompanied by various business owners and city leaders on February 3rd, wanted to discuss possible solutions to the elevating crime in the area.

Some of these suggested solutions discussed included the likes of funding additional security cameras as well as increasing the presence of police officers.

While speaking during this press conference, Chan stated:

“Unfortunately, they are not only robbing the people, but people are also being hurt.”

Oakland Police Department Captain Bobby Hookfin also commented on the crimes ongoing within the area, saying:

“They appear to be more violent, for whatever reason and that’s why we need to stop this now.”


Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf started off by apologizing to locals that these sorts of crimes are occurring within the area, and also brought up criticism towards the Oakland City Council who were among those to try to cut police budgets during the summer of 2020:

“I want to start by apologizing to the victims of these heinous crimes.”

“I have not forgotten, that this last summer, they brought a proposal to cut $25 million from the Oakland police department as a political statement, not because of operational or financial need.”

Chan is among those that are hoping to see the likes of walking patrols being reinstated with the local police force, but officials could only promise that “more resources” would be allocated to the affected area without affording an explanation as to what that might exactly look like.

With respect to the latest incident caught on video of the elderly man being assaulted, Oakland Police say that the suspect featured in the video didn’t stop at just assaulting the 91-year-old victim:

“The suspect then approached a 60-year-old man and 55-year-old woman from behind that were also walking in the 800 block of Harrison Street.”

“The suspect pushed both victims to the ground, resulting in the woman losing consciousness. The man also suffered injury. Both victims were treated at a local hospital for their injuries.”

One local, identified as Jacob Azevedo, has been particularly disturbed by the rising attacks lodged against the Asian community in Oakland’s Chinatown.

Azevedo recently established a GoFundMe that aims to use the donated funds to supply the elderly community in the area with hand-held emergency alarms in case of attacks.

In a Facebook post shared by San Francisco-based reporter Dion Lim, actors Daniel Wu and Daniel Dae Kim have teamed up together to offer a $25,000 reward for any information that leads to the arrest of the suspect seen on video during the attack of the 91-year-old victim.

Police have reportedly yet to identify by name any possible suspects in the investigation.

Please follow Law Enforcement Today as we follow this developing case.

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Speaking of crimes targeting the elderly, police in Florida are working to track down the suspects involved in a home invasion in Orange County that occurred in January. 

Here’s that recent report. 


ORANGE COUNTY, FL — Deputies in Orange County, Florida are asking for the public’s help in identifying a group of armed suspects linked to a terrifying home invasion. 

Part of the frightening incident was caught on “Ring” doorbell footage that was released by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. 

The video, which captured the incident that took place just after 2:30 a.m. on Thursday, January 21st, shows several individuals dressed in dark clothing with their faces concealed forcing their way into a home.

The four suspects, who all appear to be carrying guns are seen kicking and throwing their bodies against the door until they are finally able to gain entry. 

Once inside the residence on Giant Oak Lane in the Lockhart area of West Orange County, the suspects forced the elderly victims to the ground while shouting at them, before searching the home according to police. 

The suspects then fled in an unknown car ABC 9 reported. Thankfully there were no injuries. 

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department released the video of the incident on Twitter with a report reading:

EXPLICIT LANGUAGE: This morning, OCSO responded to Giant Oak Ln (West OC) for a home invasion. The suspects yelled “OPD, police! Sheriff’s Office” and forced their way in. They ordered the elderly victims to the ground and searched the home. If you have info, call @CrimelineFL

Anyone with information that might help deputies identify the suspects is asked to call CRIMELINE AT (800) 423-8477.

This is not the only recent home invasion where the police are asking for the public’s help. 

In Philadelphia, police have released images of two suspects allegedly involved in a deadly home invasion that took place on New Year’s Eve.

According to ABC6, the home invasion took place between 9 p.m. on New Year’s Eve and 3 a.m. on New Year’s Day inside a home on the 3900 block of North Fairhill Street in the city’s Hunting Park section.

Police say 83-year-old Mauricio Gesmundo was found bound and gagged on the living room floor when his daughter and son-in-law came home. He died at the hospital on Monday night.

On Thursday night, January 21st, police released video of the suspects in question leaving Gesmundo’s home. Police are offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspects responsible.

“I’m just truly still in disbelief right now,” 

According to police, the suspects got away with at least one black safe filled with approximately $30,000 to $50,000.
George Gesmundo claims the money belonged to his sister and brother-in-law who do business on eBay and had taken out a loan to open their own business.
At this time, police are unsure if the man was targeted, but there were not any signs of forced entry that they could see.
Gesmundo said:
“He was not expecting anyone because it was New Year’s Eve and the whole family, the rest of my family, went to our other sister’s house for New Year’s Eve that night. Ninety-nine-point-nine percent of the time my father does not open the door unless he knows that person,” 
Anyone with any information is asked to call Philadelphia police at 215-686-TIPS.


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