Former Senator Barbara Boxer Attacked

Faye Higbee
barbara boxer

Former Senator Barbara Boxer, 80, served California in the Senate for 24 years, and as a Congresswoman for 10 years before that. But at 1:15 p.m. on July 26, as she was taking a walk in her own Oakland neighborhood, talking on her cell phone, she was mugged. She’s not the only one, it seems that women and cell phones are targets in Oakland. The phone was tracked to San Francisco and a $2,000 reward is being offered for information. The city ”redirected” $18 Million from police in order to fund social programs, but didn’t ‘defund’ their police, actually upping their budget… sort of.

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One Twitter user stated the obvious: ”I’m glad Senator Boxer is OK, but Oakland: We have some serious problems, and the first thing we have to do is admit it.” Tony

Boxer, 80, appeared calm when she told KTVU she was walking by herself while talking on her cell phone when she noticed the suspects about 30 seconds before it happened…

Boxer was pushed from behind in her back by her attacker. The assailant then got in a waiting car with her belongings.

 “I was walking around this neighborhood that I love so much,” Boxer said about her daily walks in the area. She says she noticed a black sedan double-parked and that a young man came out of that car.

“I tried to cross the street and get away and he slammed me on the  back  and reached across me. He was behind me and grabbed my cell phone out of my hand,” Boxer says, “I said how can you do this to a grandmother? I want to call my grandkids. Why are you doing this? He could care less and got into the car and sped away.”

Boxer said fortunately she didn’t fall. “My heart was pounding. My hands were shaking. I was glad I was on my feet.”


She was shook up, but walked to the nearby Verizon store where she purchased the cell phone a few days before to ask for help. The clerk recognized her and gave her a phone to call 911. No suspect description was given by police.

KTVU station learned the the license number she obtained from the suspect vehicle did not belong on that car. Barbara Boxer said there were two suspects, who appeared to be teens, the driver and the suspect who grabbed her phone and shoved her. Boxer is not the only victim of cell phone theft in Oakland:

The crime perpetrated against the former Senator is considered a robbery because it was taken from her person. Robbery is classified as a violent offense by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting. Oakland has its share of problems, and violent crime is just one of them. They also have a retail theft problem that is rampant throughout the state, thanks to Prop 47. But there is a continuing argument among council members over their police funding:

The decision capped an intense year of debate about whether to significantly cut police spending so that more funds can be freed up for other kinds of programs that many people believe can better address the root causes of crime, while shrinking the footprint of law enforcement and preventing violent encounters and racial disparities that are caused by policing.

The Oakland City Council did not vote to “defund” the police. In the end, the council maintained historic levels of police spending and did not follow through with intentions they endorsed last summer to seek dramatic cuts of up to 50%, or $150 million from the police budget…

Even with the increase to police spending, the new budget also includes large amounts of funding for policing alternatives that several councilmembers described as a first step. These programs, they hope, will grow over time and eventually displace the need for large numbers of police. About $18.5 million in funds for these alternatives was taken out of Mayor Libby Schaaf’s proposed $27 million increase for the police department. The much smaller increase to OPD’s budget will result in the freezing of about 50 police officer positions that are responsible for responding to 911 calls.

As Oakland fiddles around with their funding proposals for their police, people like Barbara Boxer get robbed.

“Be very aware of your surroundings anywhere you are these days. It’s nerve-wracking but all is well. I feel bad because I love this town.”

Barbara Boxer


Featured photo: Twitter

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