Oakland’s Deanna Santana’s Insensitive Remark To Question About Homeless

Oakland City Administrator Deanna Santana made a statement that, had I been her communications representative, I’d step in to clean up, and then give her a private tongue-lashing for doing.

In this exchange with Occupy Oakland sympathizers, Santana was asked what the Oakland Police were doing in harmfully, physically removing homeless people from Oakland City Hall Plaza. Her response was terrible: “They’re clearing the plaza.” She said. Here’s the video:

That was the wrong thing to say. What she should have said was “The Oakland Police were given orders to make sure there was no loitering at Oakland City Hall Plaza beyond stated hours. There should have been a warning given, and ample time provided for those who may not have gotten the message, to get it and leave on their own. The police should have asked anyone not in compliance to depart, before taking any violent action. But the persons there are expected to follow orders.”

But she didn’t say that, and so her desire to be “tough” just opened a new can of worms for the City of Oakland, and Oakland Mayor Jean Quan.

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