The mayor of crime-ridden Oakland, California, dodged interview questions about how the city missed a deadline to apply for grants to help tackle rising theft amid skyrocketing crime.
Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao danced around the topic during an interview NBC Bay Area about how the city managed to miss the opportunity to get $267 million in funding, angering city residents.
It comes as a horrific new video shows the latest brutal attack on the city’s streets – which saw a screaming woman violently attacked by two masked robbers who dragged her to the ground and dragged her by her bag.
During Thao’s car crash interview on Thursday, the mayor avoided taking responsibility for the missed deadline for the money and referred all answers to the city manager, Jestin Johnson – whom Thao himself appointed in May.
‘The city manager manages the entire city, all departments and would therefore be the key person to actually connect with information around this topic.’
Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao blamed the city manager for missing a crime-fighting grant deadline during a recent interview
Disturbing surveillance footage shows the moment a woman was robbed and dragged down the street in Oakland, California
When asked if this is emblematic of the way her city is governed, 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 does not happen again,” and “this outcome is clearly unacceptable.”
Thao was bullied on social media for her lack of responsibility, with one user saying: ‘I can’t stop watching this clip in disbelief.
“The cowardice as a leader to throw your direct reports (whom you appointed) under the bus is astonishing. This is like a CEO saying, “Sorry the GM screwed up our product launch, ask him what happened…” How did they think this was the right response strategy? Oh yes, incompetence at its finest.’
Another said, “You can certainly hold people accountable, but never throw your team members under the bus. That creates a toxic culture focused solely on survival. That’s not what Oakland needs right now. The mayor is the mayor. The buck literally stops with her.”
California has been plagued by rising crime since the COVID pandemic. Smash and grabs, armed robberies and motor vehicle thefts have caused many small and local businesses to close.
In the last daylight attack, the two robbers were captured on a resident’s security camera jumped out of a car parked on the side of the street to attack their female victim from behind.
The pair tried to grab the bags she was holding in each hand after leaving a nearby supermarket.
The woman began screaming as she struggled with the attackers before being knocked to the ground. Eventually, a man across the street came running to intervene, but the suspects drove away with the woman’s belongings.
“Apparently they had grabbed her two bags and she was holding her purse, so they dragged her about 10 to 12 feet down the sidewalk and into the street,” a witness said. NBC Bay Area.
“I couldn’t believe the violence of what they did to this woman, just for her bag, and the brutality of it just shocked me.”
Oakland police said in a statement that the investigation into the incident — which was reported by NBC on September 18 — is still ongoing.
The vicious attack is not the first of its kind. Just a month before a similar video emerged from Oakland, showing a woman being pistol-whipped and dragged across gravel during a robbery.
In August, a woman was pistol-whipped and dragged by two assailants during an armed robbery in Oakland.
Crime reports from the Oakland Police Department show that aggravated assault, robbery, burglary and motor vehicle theft are all on the rise this year.
The Oakland chapter of the NAACP has called for a state of emergency due to rising crime, placing blame on District Attorney Pamela Price and anti-police rhetoric from Alameda County.
In a letter, they wrote: “Failed leadership, including the movement to defund the police, the unwillingness of our district attorney to charge and prosecute people who commit murder and life-threatening serious crimes, and the spread of anti-police rhetoric have created a boom for Oakland. criminals.’
Oakland police have warned residents to take stricter measures to protect themselves and their homes during this crime wave.
In a Facebook post, police warned that thieves have become bolder and even enter homes when the owners are there.
They recommended reinforcing doors with a security bar, installing motion-sensing security systems and even pruning hedges and shrubs to eliminate potential hiding places.
So far this year, aggravated assaults are up 12 percent, robberies up 31 percent, burglaries up 40 percent and motor vehicle thefts up 51 percent.
An Oakland restaurant owner blamed car burglaries and crime in the area for forcing him to close his restaurant, which had been open for 38 years.
Customers have said they can’t drive to the restaurant because it costs too much to have their car windows repaired after eating there.
Kristin Cook, who lived in Oakland all her life, decided to move with her son because of rising crime
Residents of California’s Bay Area are facing a new wave of crime as ‘pirates’ sneak onto dinghies and steal items from boats in the harbor
Kirstin Cook, a lifelong Oakland resident, was forced to move because she was “too scared” to go outside.
Cook, 48, shouted: “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 started using dinghies to stalk and rob boats.
Governor 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 investment of $267 million, Californians will soon experience more arrests, more police, more arrests and more criminal prosecutions,” Newsom said.
After the city missed the July application deadline, legal review by the California Board of State and Community Corrections determined that “the city of Oakland did not meet the necessary requirements for successful submission of the application and is therefore ineligible for financing.’
Members of the NAACP met with community leaders at Acts Full Gospel Church in Oakland to discuss why the city missed its grant deadline, reports ABC 7 News. Some suggest the city may have missed the deadline on purpose.