OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Dozens were arrested on charges ranging from suspicion of shooting at officers, vandalism, looting, and possession of firearms after an unruly night followed a day of peaceful protests in Oakland.
Vandals targeted neighborhood stores along the Fruitvale and International corridors for looting and break-ins, but the violence never reach the levels of nearby San Leandro and other Alameda County facilities.
Unlike seven other Bay Area cities including San Francisco and San Jose, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf refrained from imposing a dusk-to-dawn curfew on her community.
“We ask everyone to stay home — honoring the shelter-in-place health order and to prevent vandals from hiding within peaceful demonstrations,” she said in a statement Sunday night. “While a city-wide curfew is always an option, we will continue to focus our law enforcement resources on providing high visibility with marked vehicles as well as unmarked vehicles in our vulnerable areas without having to escalate to a curfew.”
Oakland police said roughly 60 people were arrested for crimes ranging from suspicion of shooting at officers, vandalism, looting, and possession of firearms.
“There were multiple incidents of sideshow activity,” police said in a statement. “One person was arrested and a car was towed in one incident.”
Officials also said that one Oakland police officer was hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries.
The city was also the scene of a two large, peaceful demonstrations demanding justice for George Floyd on Sunday. There was a family-oriented protest held just outside Children’s Fairyland at Lake Merritt.
Nine-year old Siula Hendrickson-Sperry was among the youngsters at the rally.
“I have a black sister and she’s scared of going outside right now so I want everybody to be able to go outside,” she said.
John Fike, who organized the protest, said he wanted a safe way to speak out.
“We want to express our anger,” Fike told KPIX, “but we want to express our anger in a peaceful way, in a family-friendly way. I learned about 11 years ago not to go to protests at night because there’s an element that is very unsafe.”
Fike was talking about the Occupy protests. That movement also started with widespread support and with protests attended by families but it soon devolved into nighttime rage, violence and lawlessness. Soon everyday people stopped attending and the movement collapsed.
Lake Merritt was also the scene for a second, larger protest. This one involved vehicles.
Hundreds of drivers joined a car caravan Sunday that stretched for miles through the streets of Oakland to protest Floyd’s death and also those of other San Francisco Bay Area residents who have died in officer-involved shootings.
Among the drivers was Cat Brooks, who told KPIX 5 she was taking part in the caravan to call for an end to officer-involved deaths including Steven Taylor, who was killed in an officer-involved shooting in San Leandro; Oscar Grant, who died in an officer-involved shooting in the early morning hours of New Year’s Day 2009 at the Fruitvale BART station; and Breonna Taylor who died in an officer-involved shooting in Louisville.
“Because of Steven Taylor, because of George Floyd, because of Breonna Taylor, because of Oscar Grant — because, because, because,” she said. “This is not a Minneapolis problem. This is not an Oakland problem. This is an American problem.”
The caravan mustered at the Port of Oakland before proceeding into downtown where they were held up at the intersection of Franklin St. and Thomas L Berkley Way. Many of the vehicles had signs posted on them — ‘Black Live Matter” “No Justice, No Peace” “Justice For George Floyd.
Dozens of bicyclists also joined in and the caravan began driving around the lake.
“I can’t even begin to explain how massive this #GeorgeFloyd car caravan protest is,” Darwin BondGraham wrote on Twitter. “Cars are driving in a seemingly endless line around Oakland’s Lake Merritt in both directions now.”
I can’t even begin to explain how massive this #GeorgeFloyd car caravan protest is. Cars are driving in a seemingly endless line around Oakland’s Lake Merritt in both directions now. pic.twitter.com/gZrQBztK7U
— Darwin BondGraham (@DarwinBondGraha) June 1, 2020
Noah Klugman wrote on Twitter: “In a protest caravan in Oakland. While we wait we are researching and donating to State campaigns with minority candidates. #GeorgeFloyd #BreonnaTaylor #BlackLivesMatter”