The head of Oakland’s NAACP branch said city leaders’ soft on crime policies and anti-police rhetoric have created a “heyday for criminals.”
In a scathing letter shared on social media, Thursday, Oakland NAACP President Cynthia Adams and Bishop Bob Jackson, Senior Pastor of Acts Full Gospel Church, admonished city officials to “End Oakland’s public safety crisis” through declaring a state of emergency.
“Oakland residents are sick and tired of our intolerable public safety crisis that overwhelmingly impacts minority communities. Murders, shootings, violent armed robberies, home invasions, car break-ins, sideshows, and highway shootouts have become a pervasive fixture of life in Oakland. We call on all elected leaders to unite and declare a state of emergency and bring together massive resources to address our public safety crisis,” the community leaders demanded.
Business owners and workers are regularly assaulted and robbed on the job, with some now even requiring private security, the letter claimed. “Everyone is in danger.”
The NAACP president specifically blamed the “defund the police” movement for creating this dangerous environment, as well as soft-on-crime policies by the District Attorney.
“Failed leadership, including the movement to defund the police, our District Attorney’s unwillingness to charge and prosecute people who murder and commit life-threatening serious crimes and the proliferation of anti-police rhetoric have created a heyday for Oakland criminals. If there are no consequences for committing crimes in Oakland, crime will continue to soar,” they chided.
The branch president and pastor noted there has been a mass exodus out of the city because of this public safety crisis and called for city leaders to declare a state of emergency and bring resources from the city, county and state to address it. They called for more police officers and a stronger emergency response system as well as more blue collar jobs for youth, which they say were discouraged by the city’s liberal leaders.
“Unfortunately progressive policies and failed leadership have chased away or delayed significant blue collar job development in the city, the Port of Oakland and the former Army Base. That must change!” the letter stated.
The community leaders ended their plea by calling for residents of all races to address the problem and not “allow themselves to be shamed into silence.”
“There is nothing compassionate or progressive” about allowing crime to continue, they said. “It is not racist or unkind to want to be safe from crime. No one should live in fear in our city.”
Nearly 500 Oakland residents appeared at a city meeting last May to call out city leaders for not addressing the public safety issue.
Earlier that month the Oakland Police Department arrested nine teenagers ranging from 12-17 years old for nearly three dozen robberies in the city. Residents were furious with the city council, blasting the soft-on-crime attitudes and demanding to know why the juveniles were back on the street.
One woman, identified by FOX 2 in Oakland as Oakland resident Denise Lillian, gave a firsthand account of getting attacked by two 14-15 year old kids who “beat the s—” out of her in front of her house.
“I’m really traumatically f—-d up,” she said. “What are we going to do? We can’t live like this.”
The Oakland Mayor and District Attorney’s offices did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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Fox News’ Greg Wehner contributed to this report.