Oakland mayor recall leader claims he was assaulted as effort in crime-plagued city gets underway

Seneca Scott 1

A local activist in Oakland claims he was assaulted by a member of Mayor Sheng Thao’s private security team during a Wednesday morning press conference. 

Videos posted on social media show an argument breaking out between members of the security team and protesters supportive of a recall campaign against the mayor. 

Seneca Scott in a tense exchange with KANO Special Services

seneca scott oakland

In multiple posts on X, formerly known as Twitter, activist Seneca Scott can be seen having a heated confrontation with members of KANO Special Services as the press conference is underway. 

In one video, Scott alleges one of the members physically assaulted him, while KANO members repeatedly told him to “stop provoking.” 


At a certain point, Oakland Police Officers respond to the scene, but it’s not clear whether any arrests were made. 

“Was just physically attacked by [Oakland City Councilmember Carrol Fife] security and supporters for simply holding a sign the way they love to do at all of our rallies,” Scott said. 

“This is what Oakland has become. The violence surrounds these people, everywhere they go. Lucky for me the guy trying to punch me was too weak to even knock off my sunglasses. But yes, the zealot left is violent and VERY worried.” 

Scott said he would “1000%” be suing the City of Oakland. 

Scott has been a fervent supporter of a burgeoning recall campaign against Mayor Thao that officially kicked off over the weekend. The recall campaign comes amid an uptick in robberies, burglaries, and violent crime that has led to multiple businesses in the city being shut down, including In N’ Out and Denny’s. 


Oakland police investigate a shooting in the Fruitvale Public Market plaza along East 12th Street and 34th Avenue in Oakland, Calif., on Tuesday, May 16, 2023.  (Getty Images )

The crime surge has also pushed health insurance provider Blue Shield and Clorox – both headquartered in Oakland – to hire “security escorts” for workers. 


Wednesday’s press conference was about Mayor Thao’s announcement of a $3.5-million safety grant, intended to expand the safety ambassador program in downtown and Chinatown, which deploys mediators trained in de-escalation to help those in crisis, FOX 2 reported. 

Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao speaking

Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao announces the firing of Oakland police Chief LeRonne Armstrong during a press conference at City Hall in Oakland, Calif., on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group via AP)

At the podium, Thao said the program will promote “safe and more secure streets while improving outcomes for people in crisis.” 

“Oakland is aggressively pushing a comprehensive safety plan,” she said. 

KANO Special Services Security Supervisor Shedrick Henry accused Scott of showing up to the press conference with hired “day laborers” and “aggressively antagonizing both the Mayor and the community members” who were gathered to support her initiative. 

oakland mayor press conference

Supporters of a recall campaign against Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao show up to a press conference.  (FOX 2)

Henry claimed that tensions escalated to the point where Scott “assaulted” one of his KANO employees – a senior citizen – to the ground, though it’s not clear from video footage. 

Henry said KANO Special Services is a “community organization that does violence prevention work” and has never been a security team for Mayor Thao. 

“We are pressing charges for his assault and battery on our employee, a senior citizen who was deliberately knocked to the ground,” Henry said, vowing to press counter-charges. “Seneca Scott is the face of the Recall campaign, and this incident is indicative of how violent and dishonest he is.” 

Asked to comment on Henry’s remarks, Scott told Fox News Digital: “He’s lying. Everyone saw him strike me.” 

“They were also extremely aggressive from the onslaught,” Scott said. 

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