OAKLAND (CBS SF) — California Governor Gavin Newsom, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and the Oakland Police Department on Monday both rejected a call by President Trump to possibly send Department of Homeland Security officers to the East Bay city.
The move to send federal law enforcement agents to Oakland would be similar to the president’s deployment of officers in military gear in Portland. The threat has been met with loud criticism.
On Monday, President Trump praised federal law enforcement officers who have been dispatched to Portland against the wishes of state and local leaders.
“I’m gonna do something, that I can tell you. Because we are not gonna let New York, and Chicago, and Philadelphia, and Detroit, and Baltimore, and all of these – Oakland is a mess, we’re not gonna let this happen in our country. All run by liberal democrats,” he said.
Over the weekend, federal agents in camouflage carrying batons moved in on protesters. The mayor said the federal response is making things worse.
“People say protesters. These are not protesters. These are anarchists. These are people that hate our country and we’re not going to let it go forward,” said Trump.
State and local leaders including Portland’s mayor have called for the DHS officers to leave the city.
In Oakland, there have been no violent protests for weeks.
During his regular update on California’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Gavin Newsom was asked about the President’s comments as to whether he had received a heads up about the possibility of law enforcement being sent to Oakland or any other California city and what his response would be to the idea.
“The answer is no and we would reject it,” Newsom replied.
Oakland’s mayor offered a more detailed response.
“Oakland needs COVID relief – not troops – from our President,” said Mayor Libby Schaaf during an interview Monday. “He should stop slandering diverse, progressive cities like Oakland in his racist dog whistles and divisive campaign tactics.”
Schaaf went on to note that her city had not been disrupted by any recent protests
“We are not experiencing any civil unrest right now. But the presence of Trump-ordered military troops to Oakland would likely incite it,” Schaaf added.
Barry Donelan is president of the Oakland Police Officers Association.
“There have absolutely been protests, but those essentially have been peaceful protests and the police deployment has been minimal at these. People are exercising their first amendment right and I think it’s been really positive all the way around,” he said. “So I’m not really sure what this sudden need for federal resources on the streets of Oakland is.”
The Oakland Police Department said it will not request federal assistance to address crowd management.
Monday afternoon, the department issued a statement saying the agency continues to “facilitate safe spaces and places for gatherings and marches and we stand with our community in condemning the murder of George Floyd and other instances of Police Brutality… and has not, nor would we, request federal assistance to address Crowd Management within our city.”
So far, the President has not given any additional details regarding the plans he mentioned to reporters.
CBS News obtained a Department of Homeland Security memo that says “the first city identified is Chicago and we have been tasked to send 175 agents to assist – reporting middle of next week.”