Monday afternoon during an NBC Bay Area affiliate's interview with Oakland's head of violence prevention, Guillermo Cespedes, on the steps of City Hall, two would-be thieves attempted to mug the camera crew and Cespedes.
According to a police statement, at 3:09 PM, the two suspects approached a KNTV cameraperson filming the interview and tried to take the camera at gunpoint. Following a physical altercation, an armed security guard with the crew, "pulled his firearm out, and directed the suspects to leave. The suspects immediately left the area without the camera."
Officers, including a police spokesperson, arrived on the scene and reported that there were no injuries. The statement added, "Please be advised that the suspects are still outstanding. We encourage everyone to be vigilant of their surroundings and report all crimes. Please stay safe."
The incident occurred shortly after Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong slammed a city budget that reallocated $18 million from police to the city's Department of Violence Prevention, which is run by Cespedes.
Anti-police activist groups celebrated that more money would be redirected to the Department of Violence Prevention thereby doubling their budget and quadrupling the amount the city allocates to the department from the general fund.
Oakland has had 65 homicides so far this year, an increase of 90 percent over what it was at this time last year. There were a total of 74 homicides in 2019 and 102 in 2020.
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