Oaklanders demand Mayor Sheng Thao to publicly appear after raid, mass shooting

A small group of opponents of Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao were making their voices heard Sunday evening at a downtown plaza, demanding the mayor present herself amid all the unrest. 

Displeased residents gathered at Oakland's city hall around 6:30 p.m. wanting to be addressed by the city's leader over Wednesday's mass shooting at Lake Merritt that left 15 injured on Juneteenth, but also the Thursday raid on her own home by the FBI. 

Protesters held up signs and chanted "Where's Sheng Thao? Where's Sheng Thao?" 

The rally was organized by Edward Escobar, the founder of Coalition for Community Engagement, and Tuan Ngo of #AsiansUnite. They are just one of the groups voicing their disdain over events involving Thao. 

"People are dying, businesses are dying, our communities are dying, so there is no tomorrow if we don’t start the change now," said Escobar.

Organizers called Thao's recent absence during a "spate of violence" very "conspicuous" and said that her "evasion" of Oakland's fiscal crisis has not gone unnoticed. 

"A lot of the issues that we are facing now, like defunding the police, it’s [Thao's] own doing," said Oakland businessman Francisco Acosta. "Even in broad daylight, just a block away from the police station, you don’t feel safe, because Oakland, it’s been going in a spiral down, and now with the budget cuts, it’s only going to get worse."


Oakland mayor's lawyer says she has 'nothing to hide,' 'will cooperate' with FBI investigation

FBI agents searched Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao's home Thursday and the properties of the politically connected Duong family, the owners of the company that runs the city's recycling program. The FBI said no arrests were made.

At the rally, they addressed the recent raid, but also her "diminished presence" in Oakland, and her inaction over the recent violent attacks in the city.

"She is not here for the people. We expect her to be here when there are 15 people getting shot and stabbed a few days ago," said Ngo. "The mayor is absent, the mayor is not doing her job."  

"This assembly will serve as a platform for citizens to insist that Mayor Thao emerge from seclusion and tackle these pressing matters head-on," organizers said.

In a statement, rally organizers also scrutinized councilwomen Nikki Bas and Carroll Fife for their alleged roles in helping Thao's conduct.

"We call upon our community to unite in the quest for justice and compel our officials to heed our call. The time has come for our collective voice to resonate," organizers said.

KTVU has repeatedly reached out to Thao's office for comment but she has not spoken publicly.

On Friday, her attorney, Tony Brass, said that Thao is not the target of any investigation and that "it's unfortunate she had to endure the bad optics" of having the FBI search her home.