Two Oakland, Calif., residents criticized the city’s response to crime on Thursday’s “The Magin’ Kelly Show.”
Bishop Bob Jackson, co-founder of the Actful Gospel Church, has spoken of a letter he wrote denouncing the Oakland authorities’ lax response to crime.
“City leaders didn’t have a real focus on public safety,” Jackson said.
He explained that church members do not feel safe in the city and as a result are not coming to evening services. He claims the city is a “dangerous and lawless environment” and that residents feel they have no voice to voice their concerns about public safety. (Related article: ‘It’s unreal!’: Aucklanders blame Soros-backed prosecutors for crime surge at City Hall)
“We want to feel safe and protected in the city we love,” he said.
He criticized the city’s apparent attempt to defund the police, which resulted in a lack of funds needed to carry out its duties. This has led to longer waiting times for residents who need to contact the police in an emergency, he argued, often ranging from 35 to 45 minutes. He added that the city employs about 700 police officers, well short of the 1,200 needed to meet safety goals.
This helplessness forced the public to take up arms to defend themselves, Jackson argued.
Seneca Scott, founder of Neighbors Together Oakland, made a direct comparison between Oakland and Boston, Massachusetts. Boston, with a population of 666,000, has 2,200 police officers, while Oakland, with a population of 450,000, has just over 700, Scott argued. He accused locally elected officials of being dishonest about the city’s criminal tendencies, saying they were “using public security to run politics.”