Earlier this week, an attempted armed robbery took place outside of city hall in Oakland, California. The news crew was interviewing the city’s Department of Violence Prevention Chief, Guillermo Cespedes, about the city’s skyrocketing crime when armed robbers tried stealing the TV camera.
According to the East Bay Times, an armed security guard thwarted the would-be robbers.
“I think Oakland deserves better,” Cespedes told NBC Bay Area reporters as the robbers attempted to steal the station’s camera equipment.
“Our colleagues were conducting an interview at Oakland City Hall when they were approached by two armed individuals,” NBC Bay Area spokeswoman Liza Catalan NBC Bay Area told The Washington Post. “Thankfully, our colleagues are safe and unharmed.”
The robbery took place just hours after the Oakland City Council voted to further “defund the police,” diverting $18 million in funding from cops on the beat to “violence prevention” initiatives. It’s a move that Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong rightfully took issue with.
During a press conference following the council’s decision, Armstrong talked about the “crisis” the city faces:
“Today, we find ourselves in a crisis,” Armstrong said. “We find ourselves reeling from a weekend of violence where we have seen four homicides over a three-day period … Our shootings are up over 70% compared to last year. Our robberies are up 11% this year. There’s been 1,300 robberies in this city already this year.”
“Our carjackings are up nearly 88%. So we see clearly that crime is out of control in the city of Oakland and our response was for less police resources,” he explained. “When City Council members, the majority have voted to defund this police department, that additional $17 million that was reduced from the police department’s budget will have an impact.”
Cuts to the budget are likely to eliminate 50 vacant openings in the department, Oakland Police Officers Association President Barry Donela told CBS San Francisco.
According to The Washington Post, this isn’t the first time a camera crew in Oakland and surrounding cities thwarted would-be robberies:
Another NBC Bay Area crew was robbed in February by two people who pulled up in a Lexus and told the reporters they had concealed weapons.
In March, a cameraman for KPIX was reporting on car break-ins in San Francisco when a luxury white sedan suddenly pulled up. Three men jumped out and demanded the journalist’s camera gear at gunpoint.
A month later, another reporter for the station was pepper-sprayed during an attempted robbery. The security guard with that crew chased the assailants, until the man carrying the camera was struck by their getaway car. He dropped the camera and fled.
Scenarios like this are a prime example of why defunding the police is a progressive fantasy and bogus “crime prevention” departments don’t work. The notion that you can reason with a thug and talk them down from committing a crime is asinine and unrealistic.
Employing reason and logic in the face of armed criminal action is a waste of breath at best and suicidal at worst. Those who have their eyes set on stealing or harming others will do just that. And cutting the number of police officers is a good way to get more of this, not less.
When a city makes major cuts to law enforcement agencies, city officials put a giant target on residents’ backs. They’re effectively saying, “Come and rob us! There aren’t enough cops out here to protect us all.” And those who are most affected by these disastrous decisions are the poor and minorities.
And while diverting tax dollars away from cops to pet projects and favored constituencies makes progressive politicians feel better about themselves and their utopian ideals, their constituents inevitably pay the ultimate price.