NBC Bay Area news crew held at gunpoint during interview about Oakland crime

The accident occurred outside Auckland City Hall.

Thomas Wiens / Getty Images

Halfway through an NBC Bay Area interview with Oakland’s head of violence prevention, Guillermo Cespedes, two burglars interrupted, leading to the arrest of the crew and Cespedes. An Auckland police spokesman told SFGATE that a “fighting” occurred before a news crew security officer pulled out his firearm and ordered the thieves to leave.

The incident occurred on Monday afternoon, shortly after Oakland Police Chief Leron Armstrong decried the city budget for reallocating an additional $18 million from police from the proposed $674 million police budget. This money will go to the city’s Department of Violence Prevention, led by Cespedes, who joined the department in 2020.

The department was formed in 2017 with a focus on “Community-Led Intervention Strategies” to prevent violent crime. An appropriation of $18 million has been proposed by Auckland Mayor Libby Schaaf, the East Bay Times reports.

An Auckland police representative told SFGATE that the suspects in the case have not yet been identified.

Auckland has seen 65 murders so far this year. There were a total of 74 in 2019 and 102 in 2020.

Cespedes confirmed to the San Francisco Chronicle that he was at the scene. (Both SFGATE and The Chronicle are owned by Hearst but operate independently of each other.)

NBC Bay Area representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment from SFGATE. No one was hurt in the accident; Investigation is underway.

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