Shocking reports have come from Oakland's Jack London Square that suggests Former US Senator Barbara Boxer was assaulted and robbed of her cellphone on Monday afternoon. A post on her Twitter account says the assailant pushed her in the back, stole her cell phone and jumped in a waiting car. The 80-year-old was not seriously injured.
'Why Would You do that to a Grandmother', Boxer Asks the Assailant
A report published in Los Angeles Times describes that Boxer gave an interview in which she revealed that she was robbed while walking near her apartment in the area of Jack London Square.
Boxer said she noticed a young man following her out of the corner of her eye but didn't think much of it after he hopped into a car.
"Then the driver of the car jumped out and started to come at me and come behind me, and at that point I knew I was in trouble," she said. "When I saw the guy coming out of the car, coming at me, I started to run away across the street. And he shoved me really, really hard on the shoulder with one hand, and with the other, he put it around my waist and grabbed my phone."
"He ran toward the car. I was standing and shaking and I just said to them, 'Why would you do that to a grandmother? I need to call my grandkids.' He jumped in the car and sped away."
Boxer said she was so close to her home that she ran back to her apartment, where she and her husband, Stewart, called the police.
$2,000 Reward for Information Leading To an Arrest in the Case
Investigation is still going on and according to multiple media reports, the Oakland Police Department confirmed a robbery at about 1:15 p.m. in the area, but didn't identify the victim.
The suspect fled in a waiting vehicle, police said. Police managed to track the phone to San Francisco and officers were searching the area of Bush and Kearny Streets, reported ABC news.
The Oakland Police Department and Crime Stoppers of Oakland are offering up to $2,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case.
Who is Barbara Boxer?
Barbara Sue Levy Boxer is an American politician and lobbyist who served as a United States Senator from California from 1993 to 2017. A member of the Democratic Party, she previously served as the US Representative for California's 6th congressional district from 1983 until 1993. She did not seek re-election in 2016. At present, Boxer is a Co-Chair in Mercury's Los Angeles office.
She has been a Former Chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and Senior Member of the Foreign Relations Committee. She has written landmark legislation establishing the first-ever federal funding for afterschool programs. She also led the floor passage of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act and a forceful proponent of women's health and a woman's right to privacy.
How did Netizens React?
Some Twitter users have expressed shock over this incident and termed it as terrible while some have demanded better and fair policing. One person wrote, "What was she doing in Oakland? Very unsafe city. I hope she's okay." On the other hand, some social media users have brought back the debate of 'defunding the police'. One Twitter user wrote, "Hey Barbara Boxer, do you now wish to defund the police, since that what you wanted." Another wrote, "Did she discuss with her assailants how she's reimagining policing?"
Debate around Defunding the Police Continues
In June 2021, there were reports that suggested six members of the Oakland City Council voted in favor of reducing $18 million dollars from OPD's budget over the next two years by cutting two police academies.
Fox News revealed that the crimes are surging across the nation and Democratic mayors in approximately 20 US cities that have called for defunding the police have received millions in taxpayer funds towards their own personal security details, according to a new report.