OAKLAND (CBS SF) — A protest march targeting police shootings turned violent in Oakland on Christmas night as protesters smashed windows, looted stores and damaged a Christmas in Jack London Square.
The “No Time Off” march started around 5 p.m. Thursday evening at 14th Street and Broadway with several dozen protesters taking part. Some were hostile from the beginning, with one protester lunging at a KPIX camera moments after the march began.
Around thirty windows were smashed between a local Subway restaurant and a BevMo store at 525 Embarcadero West, where bottles of liquor were pilfered and used as projectiles.
Mark Fregosa, the manager of the BeVmo, told KCBS’ Holly Quan early Thursday morning that he left his Christmas dinner to find our why so many window alarms were being set off.
“So it looks like they smashed them on that end, grabbed some of the wine bottles and started throwing them at the other windows to break them,” he said. “We have glass shattered all the way to the back of the store.”
The lights from the Christmas tree in Jack London Square were ripped out while shattered ornaments lay strewn across the pavement as the protest moved through Oakland streets.
A garbage dumpster was also set on fire.
When the group blocked an intersection near City Hall, one driver lashed out, saying “When people come from other areas and cause trouble, that’s what’s frustrating.”
About forty Oakland Police officers were monitoring the protest.
Earlier this week, leaders of the police unions for San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose wrote an open letter stating that protesters are encouraging violence against officers. They asked for an open dialogue about the issue of police-involved killings of unarmed black men in several instances around the nation this year.
Protests groups, however, said that the unions need to admit that the officers are the problem before they will sit down to talk.
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