Protesters have vandalized the home of Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, splattering it with red paint and graffiti while pelting the house with fireworks.
The mayor’s office said the attack was meant to “terrorize” and “intimidate.”
Along with large splotches of paint thrown across Schaaf’s garage door and a nearby retaining wall, the vandals left countless graffiti messages condemning the mayor and apparently voicing support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
According to police, fireworks were also set off in the street during the incident – some fired at the mayor’s house – which is believed to have occurred around 2am on Tuesday morning.
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf’s home was vandalized overnight. https://t.co/dPab4SLcnx
Some of the messages left in spray paint:
– “DEFUND OPD!”
– “CANCEL RENT!”
– “HOMES FOR ALL!” pic.twitter.com/LZhjpgDQxx
— Brendan Weber (@BrendanNWeber) July 21, 2020
“An attack at the home of a publicly elected official does not advance democracy,” the mayor’s office said in a statement, noting that “vandals shot projectiles at the mayor’s home, set off fireworks and graffitied her home with paint.”
“This attack, designed to intimidate the mayor and strike fear into her family, will not stop her from advocating for the policies she believes are in the best long-term interests of her beloved hometown. Like all Oaklanders, she supports passionate protest but does not support tactics meant to harm and terrorize others.”
Oakland Police are now investigating the incident, the aftermath of which was seen in photos shared on social media.
OPD is investigating. pic.twitter.com/p1KyCsgtNp
— Chuck Clifford (@chuckclifford) July 21, 2020
Though the mayor has come out in favor of the BLM movement – approving of a massive street mural created to celebrate the group and forcefully speaking out against police brutality on a number of occasions in recent weeks – her not-radical-enough stance on police funding is at odds with activists’ growing calls to slash department budgets or abolish them outright.
Wait wait. How can this be? Her house was protected with both a BLM poster and a giant stuffed teddy bear in the windows? pic.twitter.com/yJegKoKzOH
— EastOfTheCascades 🇨🇦 🇺🇸 (@RTCdn) July 23, 2020
The city voted to divert more than $14 million from the Oakland Police Department budget last month, however activists and some city council members have demanded more, with two local lawmakers proposing a whopping $150 million cut in a recent budget amendment.
Schaaf ultimately provided the tie-breaking vote to shoot down the larger cut on Tuesday night, arguing it would “further impair what is already sub-standard police 911 response” and “strain Oakland’s under-staffed police force.”
Libby Schaaf cast the deciding vote against defunding the police in Oakland, after peaceful graffiti artists decided to turn her house into artwork. How rude! https://t.co/7L91pT94Ln
— David: Crazy Broke AZN😷🇺🇸🇭🇰🇹🇼😡🤒🇨🇳⚾️🐘🌳 (@Dealing4Meaning) July 22, 2020
It is not the first time anti-police brutality demonstrators descended on Schaaf’s private residence. In June, some 1,000 marchers staged a protest in her Fruitvale neighborhood, calling on the mayor to defund the OPD, among other things. Following the action, the mayor’s office issued a statement in support of the protesters, arguing that the “outrage across America right now needs to be heard.”
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