City Slashes Police Dept. $18.4M, Chief Sends Them Scathing Message

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The city council voted to reduce police department funds by a whopping $18.4, which will result in the loss of as many as 50 officers. However, the council members couldn’t escape the scathing message the police chief had for each of them.

Oakland City Council
Oakland City Council President Nikki Fortunado Bas lauded her initiative to cut the police department’s budget. (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

Despite the vast majority of all demographics opposing defunding the police, members of the Oakland City Council shamelessly lauded themselves for striking a massive $18.4 million from the Oakland Police Department’s budget. Passed 7-2, the council approved the measure to take effect over the course of a 2-year span.

Some of the most harmful legislation has been enacted on the back of fringe politics. Of course, it often takes time for the consequences to manifest in full. Unfortunately, those of us who have enough insight to foresee the long-term repercussions are forced to watch the celebratory cries of the foolish.

Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong slammed the council members. (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

Although the council wanted to defund the department by an unbelievable $150 million, or 50 percent of the overall budget, they ultimately settled for the lesser yet still devastating cut, The Oaklandslide reports. Oakland City Council President Nikki Fortunado Bas, who headed the initiative, celebrated the move as “actually doing something” about police brutality and “putting our money where our mouth is.”

While the councilmembers were busy extolling themselves, Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong knew the pain and suffering that would be exacerbated by the city’s decision. In a fiery speech, he addressed the council members, criticizing their refusal to look at the already skyrocketing crime in their city.

“Today, we find ourselves in a crisis… It now has us currently at 65 homicides for the year. That’s a 90 percent increase compared to last year,” he said. “Our shootings are up over 70 percent this year. Our robberies are up 11 percent this year… Our carjackings are up nearly 88 percent. So, we see clearly that crime is out of control in the city of Oakland, and our response was for less police resources.”

In an impassioned lecture, Chief Armstrong then exposed one council member for a disgustingly insensitive comment trivializing the increase in crime that would ensue due to their policies. The council member apparently shrugged off the violent crimes as “a bump in the road — a speed bump — [and] that we would go through a period in which there would be speed bumps and there would be challenges and things might not go right.”

“Well for me, those ‘speed bumps’ are 65 lives so far this year,” the chief told reporters. “Whether its shootings, robberies, carjackings, sexual assaults, all of these crimes are not speed bumps. These are people.”

With the faces of victims of deadly crimes flashing on the screen behind him, the chief lamented the death of his own god-sister. After taking a moment to gather his emotions, he slammed the council members for focusing on money and politics.

“I don’t know what the cost of a life is,” he said. “But I know not having resources makes our city less safe. It concerns me that we would ever consider that to be ‘a bump in the road.’”

Chief LeRonne Armstrong criticized the council members for putting money and politics above citizens’ lives. (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

Chief Armstrong then referred to a recent incident at a crime scene, showcasing just how out-of-touch the council members are.

“Saturday night, I went out to a scene of a young man that lost his life. A lady yelled out the window, ‘Do something about it!’” he said. “Without the resources, it makes it challenging to make Oakland safe.”

In conclusion, Chief Armstrong pleaded one final time for the city to put people’s lives before their own political agenda before there are more victims of under-funded policing.

“When the yellow tape is gone and when the streets are cleaned up, there is still hurt and pain and tragedy in our community,” Chief Armstrong said. “I hope that we can put politics aside and put public safety first. Put people’s lives first before political agendas.”

Oakland City Council
The police chief lambasted one of the city leaders for referring to the 65 lives lost to violent crime as “speed bumps.” (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

Political figures across the country are pushing to defund the police while enjoying the privilege of personal security. While claiming to represent marginalized minorities, their policies negatively affect these exact groups the most.

The council members don’t actually care about the citizens they represent or else they’d base their policies on facts instead of social and political trends. Instead, they are removing the only protection standing between law-abiding community members and law-breaking criminals.