OAKLAND (CBS SF) — For the second night in a row, protests over the grand jury decision in the Michael Brown shooting case have turned violent in the streets of Oakland, with blocked freeways and reports of fires, vandalism and looting.
The California Highway Patrol said multiple arrests have been made after protesters lit fires and set off fireworks in front of the Oakland CHP office. At least one firearm was taken off a protester that was vandalizing a police car, police said.
Looters were spotted in multiple locations Tuesday night. A group smashed windows and ran inside a classic car dealership near 42nd Street and Telegraph Avenue. There was also looting spotted at a T-Mobile store near 51st Street and Telegraph Avenue.
Fires were reported in several locations in Oakland, including 40th and Telegraph Avenue. In that location, people appeared to drag garbage cans from the neighborhood, stretched them across the street and used trash to keep the fires going.
Around 9:00 p.m., vandalism was spotted at a Walgreens near 34th and Telegraph Avenue. Witnesses said protesters tried to storm into the store, but others stopped them. Windows were smashed and graffiti was sprayed along the side of the building.
Shortly before 9:00 p.m., protesters blocked Interstate 580 in both directions near the Interstate 980 / Highway 24 interchange. Police quickly arrived to disperse the crowd and the freeway reopened about 15 minutes later.
The protesters put their hands up, ready to comply as officers started corralling the herd off the on-ramp. Some made it off, but the police started to form a barricade, locking arms and not letting anyone through.
The crowd surged and some of the protesters fell down as other protesters trampled them. Two police officers snatched one protester, citing him. A girl was next. One at a time, officers grabbed protesters from the crowd.
“You’re being arrested,” one officer said. “You’re all being arrested.”
Although there was pushing on both sides, once the protesters knew they were surrounded, the crowd calmed down. Protesters waited placidly to be taken away and bound with zip-ties.
“Thank you for your patience,” said one officer as the protesters stood on the roadway, no longer chanting or trying to argue. Most were issued citations and boarded onto a sheriff’s bus before being carted away to an undisclosed location, where police said they would be released.
One man suffered injuries to his face and was carted away by an ambulance.
No longer threatened, the officers took a more conciliatory approach with their detainees, largely complying with requests to put wallets back in backpacks or jackets back on shoulders.
Earlier, protesters blocked both directions of Interstate 980 near Castro Street in Downtown Oakland around 6:20 p.m. Tuesday night. The CHP said the freeway was closed for about 10 minutes.
For much of the evening, protesters were seen marching on surface streets through Downtown Oakland. After 7 p.m., CHP officers shut down the Broadway offramp from northbound Interstate 880 to prevent protesters from blocking traffic.
The protests in Oakland were mostly peaceful in the early evening.
“I wanted to send a message that black lives matter, all lives matter,” said Sarah Norr, a protester from South Berkeley. “I think people are really hopeful. I’m really proud of the East Bay.”
The protesters are among many groups across the country who took to the streets for the second straight night after a Missouri grand jury decided Monday that Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, who fatally shot Brown in August, would not be indicted. Protests were also held in Ferguson, Los Angeles, New York and dozens of other cities. A protest in San Francisco’s Mission District ended early without incident.
On Monday night, protesters blocked Interstate 580 in both directions near Lakeshore Avenue for several hours.
Monday’s protests in Downtown Oakland turned violent when some people set fires, broke storefront windows and looted businesses. Around 40 people were arrested.
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