A homemade explosive device was found outside the home of San Jose City Councilwoman Dev Davis on Tuesday, with the San Jose Police Department evacuating the area for part of the day while they dealt with the bomb.
At about 8:00 in the morning on Tuesday, neighbors of Councilwoman Davis noticed that someone had planted something close to her house in Willow Glen. As the package was wrapped and had visible batteries, they alerted the SJPD. The police quickly evacuated the area as the bomb squad was called in. They quickly determined it to be a homemade explosive and, after securing it, removed it from the area before it could detonate. While they determined that there was no threat to the public, the SJPD also noted that it was still dangerous.
“These types of devices can sometimes cause injury and, yes, even death,” said SJPD Sergeant Christian Camarillo on Tuesday. “So it is always alarming to us, but even more because it is one of our elected officials in the city.”
Davis was shaken by the incident and noted that this was disturbing because someone had wanted to harm her simply because she was an elected city official.
“It should be safe to be an elected official,” said Councilwoman Davis on Tuesday. “It is scary if I was targeted. I can’t think of a reason why someone would target me outside of political differences of opinion. I want people to be civically involved and to do public comment at meetings and let met me know how you feel that way. And I think there’s a way to be civil and to disagree in a civil manner and it doesn’t have to be violent.”
On Tuesday night, Councilwoman Davis released a longer statement about the incident
“This morning, we were made aware that a neighbor found a suspicious device near our home,” Davis continued in a statement. “The police were notified and the bomb unit responded. Our family was evacuated from our house and so were nearby neighbors. I have to say that I’m seriously disturbed by the fact that someone would threaten harm to me and my family just because I’m an elected official. This further erodes our democracy and our ability to attract good people to run for public office. We are fully cooperating with the investigation and our hope is to catch the perpetrator. We are very grateful to SJPD for their diligence. We are also very grateful to our neighbors for their understanding and support.”
A bombing attempt a week after a major election for Davis
The incident comes just over a week after a campaign sign of hers was blown up in a neighbors yard. As of Wednesday, there has been no word of any possible connection with that or Davis’ recent run for Mayor in the city. Last week, Davis came in third in the San Jose Mayoral primary, receiving just over 10% of the vote and losing to Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors President Cindy Chavez, who came in with 39% of the vote, and San Jose City Councilman Matt Mahan, who had 32.5% of the vote.
“It would be surprising if this had anything to do with the election,” Richard Willis, a historian who has focused on election violence, told the Globe on Wednesday. “Why hurt a candidate after the fact? Especially if it was a losing candidate? Plus, most of the times, bombing are much more discreet and specifically targeted, like putting it in a car or putting it in a place with more collateral damage, like a political campaign or party office.”
“Just leaving it in view during daylight hours like this at an unspecified time with no clear target screams amateur hour. The Councilwoman was likely the person this was intended for, but like what everyone is saying about this, why?”
As of Wednesday, no suspects in the attempted bombing have been identified. The SJPD is currently investigating and is gathering evidence, such as footage from nearby security cameras, to help and try to identify those responsible.
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