The mayor of crime-ridden Oakland, California, dodged interview questions about how the city missed a deadline to apply for grants to help deal with rising thefts amid soaring crime.
Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao danced on the topic during an interview NBC Bay Area about how the city managed to miss the opportunity to receive $267 million in funding, infuriating city residents.
It comes as a horrifying new video shows the latest brazen attack on the city’s streets – a screaming woman was brutally attacked by two masked robbers who tackled her to the ground and dragged her by her handbag.
During Thao’s car crash interview on Thursday, the mayor avoided taking responsibility for the missed cash payment deadline and referred all answers to City Manager Jestin Johnson, who Thao self-appointed in May.
“The city manager manages the entire city and all departments and therefore would be the key person to actually be in touch with information around this issue.”
Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao accused the city manager of missing the deadline for anti-crime grants in a recent interview
Disturbing surveillance video shows the moment a woman was assaulted and dragged on the street in Oakland, California
When asked if this was emblematic of how her city is run, Thao again dodged the question, saying, “That’s a question for the city manager.”
Johnson’s office said in a statement that they are “reviewing everything that happened to ensure it doesn’t happen again” and “this outcome is patently unacceptable.”
Thao was trolled on social media for her lack of accountability, with one user saying, “I continue to watch this clip in disbelief.”
“The cowardice as a leader to throw down your direct boss (who you appointed) is astounding.” That’s like a CEO saying, “I’m sorry the GM screwed up our product launch, you ask him, what happened…” How did they decide that this was the correct response strategy? Oh yes, incompetence at its best.’
Another said: “You can certainly hold people accountable, but never throw your team members under the bus.” This creates a toxic culture focused on mere survival. That’s not what Oakland needs at this moment. The mayor is the mayor. “The money literally stops with her.”
California has been plagued by rising crime since the COVID pandemic. Robberies, armed robberies and motor vehicle thefts have caused many small and local businesses to close.
In the most recent daytime attack, the two robbers were filmed by a local resident’s surveillance camera jumped out of a car parked on the side of the road to attack their female victim from behind.
The couple tried to grab the bags she was holding in each hand after she left a nearby grocery store.
The woman began screaming as she struggled with the attackers before being thrown to the ground. Eventually, a man ran from across the street to intervene, but the suspects drove off with the woman’s belongings.
“Apparently they had grabbed both of her bags and she was holding on to her purse, so they dragged her about 10 to 12 feet across the sidewalk and into the street,” a witness said NBC Bay Area.
“I couldn’t believe the violence they did to this woman just for her wallet and the brutality just shocked me.”
Oakland police said in a statement that the investigation into the incident — which NBC reported on Sept. 18 — was ongoing.
The brutal attack is not the first of its kind. Just a month earlier, a similar video emerged in Oakland showing a woman being pistol-whipped and dragged over gravel during a robbery.
In August, a woman was pistol-whipped and dragged by two assailants during an armed robbery in Oakland. An eerily similar attack occurred
Oakland police crime reports show aggravated assault, robbery, burglary and motor vehicle theft are common this year.
The Oakland chapter of the NAACP has declared a state of emergency over rising crime, blaming Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price and anti-police rhetoric.
In a letter, they wrote: “Failed leadership, including the movement to cut police funding, our district attorney’s unwillingness to charge and prosecute people who murder and commit life-threatening serious crimes, and the spread of anti-police rhetoric have left Oakland one.” ‘Criminals’ heyday.’
Oakland police have warned residents to take increased measures to protect themselves and their homes during this crime wave.
In a Facebook post, police warned that thieves were becoming more brazen and would even break into homes when the owners were there.
They recommended reinforcing doors with a security bar, installing motion-detecting security systems, and even trimming hedges and shrubs to avoid potential hiding places.
So far this year, the number of aggravated assaults has increased by 12 percent, the number of robberies by 31 percent, the number of burglaries by 40 percent and the number of motor vehicle thefts by 51 percent.
An Oakland restaurant owner blamed car break-ins and crime in the area for forcing him to close his restaurant that has been open for 38 years.
Customers said they couldn’t drive to the restaurant because it was too expensive to get their car windows repaired after eating there.
Kristin Cook, a longtime Oakland resident, made the decision to move with her son due to rising crime
Residents of California’s Bay Area are experiencing a new crime wave with “pirates” sneaking up on inflatable boats and stealing items from boats in the harbor
Kirstin Cook, a lifelong Oakland resident, had to move because she was “too afraid” to go outside.
Cook, 48, cried: “I can’t take it anymore.” “I got to the point where I was too scared to leave my house.”
Even the waters are no longer safe as “pirates” have taken to sneaking up on boats using dinghies and robbing them.
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced plans to distribute more than $267 million in grants across the state to help combat organized retail crime, the largest investment of its kind ever.
“With an unprecedented $267 million investment, Californians will soon see more raids, more police, more arrests and more prosecutions,” Newsom said.
After the city missed the application deadline in July, the California Board of State and Community Corrections’ legal review concluded that “the City of Oakland has not met the necessary requirements for a successful application submission and is therefore ineligible for funding.” “
Members of the NAACP met with community leaders at Acts Full Gospel Church in Oakland to discuss why the city missed the funding deadline, they say ABC 7 News. Some suggest the city may have intentionally missed the deadline.