Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao held a press conference Wednesday to announce a state grant supporting a street-ambassador program, but protesters were on hand calling for Thao's recall, and the event turned into a shouting match.

On Wednesday, Thao and several other city officials spoke at a press conference in Latham Square, announcing a $3.5 million grant to support a "safety ambassador" program. But some vocal, pro-recall protesters were there, standing behind Thao as she spoke and shouting "recall," and they "got into heated arguments with Thao’s supporters," as the Chronicle reports.

This was Thao's first day back at work after taking time off following her mother's death last week.

We learned last month that the signature gathering had begun in the campaign to recall Mayor Sheng Thao, who has just finished her first year in office at Oakland City Hall. Recalls have been a pretty popular activity in California in recent years amid voter unrest over issues like crime and public safety, and it was predictable enough that Thao could be facing one after a year of escalating crime in Oakland.

Recall campaigners now have until May to gather 25,000 signatures to put the recall question on the November ballot.

Oakland police were called in at 10 am Wednesday to calm the situation at the press conference as things became heated, and Thao reportedly left in the middle of the event.

One of the dozen or so protesters, Tuan Ngo, called out Thao for the city's goof last year in missing a deadline to apply for a different state grant, one that would have addressed organized retail thefts, as the Chronicle reports.

One organizer of the recall, Seneca Scott, was present at the event, and as KTVU reports, another recall campaigner, Edward Escobar, called the police saying that Scott was being attacked by the mayor's bodyguards.

As KRON4 reports, there seems to have been a separate news conference nearby rallying against the recall campaign, with several Thao supporters speaking out against the effort, but Thao herself did not speak.

Viviana Rodriguez Smith, a local business owner, said the recall campaigners have a "lack of patience" when it comes to the work to fight crime in the city.

Community activist Shedrick Williams, a Thao supporter, said, "Right-wingers are doing these recall campaigns all over California because this is their hustle right now, to hustle you out of your vote."

Williams added, "Oakland is too game-savvy to fall for this. I want to be part of the solutions, not the slander that allows them to sell our city off."

Previously: Very Predictably, Effort to Recall Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao Now Afoot

Top image: Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao arrives at the opening night premiere of "Stephen Curry: Underrated" at 66th San Francisco International Film Festival at Grand Lake Theatre on April 13, 2023 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Miikka Skaffari/Getty Images)