Oakland city leaders reject additional police department cuts with mayor breaking tie vote

The Oakland city council rejected deeper cuts to the police department, where Mayor Libby Schaaf cast the deciding vote – only hours after her home was vandalized.

"Any further cuts, real cuts will require significant reductions to our widely recognized inadequate 911 response, elimination of current police service as well as further strain of what is a well-documented understaffed police force," Schaaf said.

The Tuesday night meeting included hours of public comment with many supporting cuts to the police department.

Some residents shouted out: ”You have blood on your hands. How dare you.”

Another person said: "I think that if anywhere, Oakland is the city that can show America that we can be safer without police.”

City council members were deadlocked on a proposal that would slash more than $2 million from the police budget.

Earlier in the night, the city council rejected another proposal that wanted to take $11 million dollars from OPD's budget. 

Schaaf said she had concerns over how this would impact response times in an emergency.

In an email sent out before the meeting, she called the proposed amendment dangerous and irresponsible.

The city already took more than $14 million from the police department last month.

Many residents are demanding cuts –  and there are nationwide calls to defund police following the in-custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Councilmembers also discussed launching a task force with a goal or reducing OPD's budget by 50%. 

Money would be invested in other community needs, including mental health issues and youth violence prevention.