Former Sen. Barbara Boxer was mugged in the Jack London Square neighborhood of Oakland, Calif., on Monday, putting a whole different light on the city’s efforts to steer funding away from its police department.
The great irony of the assault and theft was that it happened just a few blocks from where the region’s top federal and local law enforcement representatives held a press conference an hour earlier pledging to take a tougher stance against criminals to deter violence, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
“He pushed me very hard… and before I could follow him, he grabbed my phone,” the 80-year-old Democrat told CBS San Francisco. “I’m not physically hurt at all, I’m just shook up.”
A tweet posted to Boxer’s account by her office said she was attacked by an assailant who “pushed her in the back, stole her cell phone and jumped in a waiting car.”
The tweet stated: “Earlier today former Senator Barbara Boxer was assaulted in the Jack London Square neighborhood of Oakland. The assailant pushed her in the back, stole her cell phone and jumped in a waiting car. She is thankful that she was not seriously injured.”
Earlier today former Senator Barbara Boxer was assaulted in the Jack London Square neighborhood of Oakland. The assailant pushed her in the back, stole her cell phone and jumped in a waiting car. She is thankful that she was not seriously injured.”
— Barbara Boxer (@BarbaraBoxer) July 26, 2021
Chronicle reporter Mallory Moench noted the irony behind the timing of the crime against Boxer in a tweet — she was mugged at 1:15 p.m. local time.
“You can’t make this stuff up – this attack took place an hour after a news conference vowing a tougher on crime stance ended just five blocks away in downtown Oakland,” she tweeted.
You can’t make this stuff up – this attack took place an hour after a news conference vowing a tougher on crime stance ended just five blocks away in downtown Oakland. Read more: https://t.co/3NoSi3Apjd https://t.co/jod5cnYJxs
— Mallory Moench (@mallorymoench) July 26, 2021
At the press conference, which was attended by Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong, Federal Bureau of Investigations Special Agent in Charge Craig Fair, Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley and Patrick Gorman, federal Special Agent in Charge of the San Francisco Field Division for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, two “brazen daytime” armed robberies in Oakland’s Chinatown were highlighted.
Like many Democrat-run cities, Oakland is experiencing a surge in violent criminal activity. Citing police data, the newspaper reported that homicides spiked to 75 as of Friday, compared to 45 by the same date in 2020 and 2019. Carjackings and assaults with a firearm were more than double the mid-2019 totals — overall robberies were “on par with pre-pandemic numbers.”
Last month, the Oakland City Council passed a two-year budget that cut $18.4 million from the mayor’s proposed spending on policing to fund violence prevention measures and social services, according to the Chronicle.
“I believe that until we have proven alternatives, we cannot destroy Oakland’s current public safety system at a time when we are losing so many to gun violence,” Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said at the time.
The ultimate budget added $38 million to the police department, but 50 vacant police officer positions were frozen. Resources will be funneled to the Department of Violence Prevention, which partners with community organizations doing street outreach and intervention, and other social services.
Chief Armstrong was reportedly critical of the decision.
Boxer represented California in the U.S. Senate from 1993 to 2017. She did not seek re-election in 2016 and was succeeded by now-Vice President Kamala Harris. Boxer would later join the lobbying firm Mercury Public Affairs as co-chairwoman in 2020.
Conservative firebrand Ann Coulter responded to Boxer’s mugging in a tweet: “Well, let’s just hope she was able to give a good suspect description to the responding social workers.”
Here’s a sampling of other responses to the story from Twitter:
Genuinely awful news. This is the state of American cities. No one is safe.
And nothing is being done to actually fix it. https://t.co/LUboiJgijS
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) July 26, 2021
Man we living in Gotham lol https://t.co/ET7ylDY85u
— Kamal (@ThaRealKamal) July 26, 2021
— Jim Hanson (@JimHansonDC) July 27, 2021
I do not rejoice in anyone being assaulted. Today an elite leftist got a taste of what everyday working people have to deal with in crime ridden democrat cities. Did Ms Boxer call a social worker or the police whom her party is desperately trying to defund? https://t.co/OoeGjVcBOG
— TrueGrit (@MichaelTruGrit) July 27, 2021
As prominent progressives deny any or significant crime increase in California, and any relationship between the addiction epidemic & homelessness, the state’s progressive fmr Sen. @BarbaraBoxer has been assaulted — one month after Gov @GavinNewsom was — randomly https://t.co/J7DHMVrg0f
— Michael Shellenberger (@ShellenbergerMD) July 27, 2021
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