The local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) organized a rally in honor of George Floyd in Oakland Friday, which included a choir and faith leaders praying for victims of police brutality.
But it was when Mayor Libby Schaaf started recalling her own experience as a law school student in Los Angeles during the Rodney King trial that she spoke out about rogue police officers.
“Excuse me but f*** the bad apple theory,” the mayor said. “Let me have a moment of honesty here – it is perpetuated by people that look like me and have the job title that I hold.”
A candid Schaaf taking jabs at America’s long legacy of police misconduct and the systems that many believe cultivate racial injustice.
She took a knee and asked hundreds to join her in honoring the memory of George Floyd and other victims of police brutality.
“Kaepernick did that four years ago, everyone mocked him,” said Tanisha Walton from Oakland. “No one took it seriously, and now to kind of embrace it, feels a little bit disingenuous.”
The Oakland Police Union was quick to condemn the Minneapolis police officers involved in the death of George Floyd.
But union president Barry Donelan says those bad apples do not represent the Oakland Police Department, whose officers are exhausted from what has been a long week of protests and unrest.
“The problem is it casts everyone, tars everyone with the same brush and Oakland police officers are out there trying to serve the community during difficult times,” said Donelan.
Congresswoman Barbara Lee also joined today’s NAACP rally, where she called on demonstrators to show up to the ballot box in November.
“We don’t want to go back to normal! what you are doing is disrupting the old order!” she said.
Lee brought up a story that is making some headlines. An Oakland screen printing business says it sent out hundreds of face masks to demonstrators in Minneapolis and other cities. The masks read “Stop Killing Black People” and “Defund Police.” Lee said those masks were confiscated by authorities and she quickly denounced the move.