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FBI raid on Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao's home shocks city leaders

FBI raid on Sheng Thao adds to Oakland political turmoil
FBI raid on Sheng Thao adds to Oakland political turmoil 03:24

A swath of warrants served by federal authorities Thursday morning to various Oakland political figures - including Mayor Sheng Thao - has shaken the city's political scene to its core. 

The early morning raids came as Thao is facing a recall vote, with the county registrar of voters announcing Wednesday that the measure has qualified for the ballot. The political implications of the investigation could be massive. 

"Terribly shocked," said Oakland City Councilmember Carroll Fife. "I woke up this morning, prepared to address the Juneteenth incident at Lake Merritt yesterday and as soon as I turned on the news, I saw what was breaking."

It was a bombshell inside City Hall as word spread of the FBI raids. Fife says they, too, are trying to figure out what exactly is going on and what it might mean for the city.

"We have no information in terms of the council on what's happening," Fife told KPIX. "But in the meantime, we still need leadership and direction."

"We want to make sure that we can get this all over with," said Chinatown community leader Carl Chan. "Because right now our city, we need leadership."

Chan says his concern is that the investigation, wherever it might be going, will take the focus away from other issues.

"So let's allow the FBI, let them do the work," he said. "And make sure that, you know, we understand what's going on."

"We do, we just have to wait and see, before we make a determination as to whatever is going on," said Bishop Bob Jackson of Acts Full Gospel Church.

Jackson also spent the day waiting to learn more on what might be happening, but he said it feels like another setback, at a time when the city already faces a good deal of uncertainty.

"What is going on in the City of Oakland," Jackson asked. "I just think it's something very very bizarre. Really I'm not sure who would lead the city if something were to happen to The Mayor. Who would take over the city? Who do we have to take over the city?"

"I think with leadership, we can't allow it to become a distraction," Fife said of the days ahead. "We have to focus on what is in front of us right now." 

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