Outraged and frightened over a recent spike in violent crime, community leaders in Oakland, California, on Tuesday called for more action from Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Though a news conference was led by business leaders from the city’s Chinatown neighborhood, which has seen assaults against Asian-Americans, speakers said they were concerned about rising crime throughout the city, FOX 2 of the Bay Area reported.
“Governor Newsom, we want you to do this: Declare a state of emergency for the city of Oakland,” Carl Chan, president of the Oakland Chinese Chamber of Commerce, told reporters in Chinatown’s Pacific Renaissance Plaza, according to FOX 2.
“Governor Newsom, we want you to do this: Declare a state of emergency for the city of Oakland.”
— Carl Chan, president, Oakland Chinese Chamber of Commerce
“We want you to bring in the California Highway Patrol,” Chan continued. “I’m not inly asking you to patrol Chinatown – all areas. We need your help.”
As Chan and others spoke, they were backed by members of the “Blue Angels,” a blue-vested citizen patrol group that has formed in response to street assaults and other crimes, FOX 2 reported.
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Tuesday’s news conference was the latest in a series of attempts by Oakland community leaders to draw media attention to the city’s crime problem, the station reported. It was prompted by last weekend’s shooting in Oakland of a Good Samaritan who tried to aid robbery victims who were being attacked in broad daylight, according to FOX 2.
“Many of us, we feel strongly that this brave young man, willing to risk is life, these are the heroes,” Chan told FOX 2, referring to the Good Samaritan, who has been identified only as “Mr. Li.” Chan himself has also been a crime victim, the station reported.
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Recent offenses have even include a July 26 assault against former U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer of California, who wrote on Twitter that she was robbed of her cell phone while visiting Oakland’s Jack London Square neighborhood.
Days after the incident, Boxer, a Democrat, bucked the “Defund the police” trend by calling for more policing in an interview with “Inside the Issues.”
Some of Oakland’s elected officials have also urged more action against crime.
“Our community was under attack,” Oakland city council member Loren Taylor told FOX 2. “And I say ‘our community’ because we are one Oakland. When one of us is attacked, all of us are attacked.”
There was no immediate response to the news conference from Newsom’s office or from the California Highway Patrol, the station reported. The governor’s recent Twitter posts have mostly addressed the state’s wildfires and coronavirus-related issues, not crime.
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Newsom, a former mayor of San Francisco who was elected governor in 2018, is now facing a threat of removal from office after activists who oppose the Democrat forced a recall election for later this year.
Numerous Republican candidates have stepped up to oppose Newsom, including businessman John Cox, former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, conservative radio host Larry Elder and former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner.
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