SANTA ROSA (CBS SF) — Santa Rosa police arrested more than 75 people, including a man waving a shotgun, late Tuesday as a demonstration protesting the death of George Floyd became unruly after the city’s dusk-to-dawn curfew when into effect.
Tuesday night began with a peaceful protest of about 700 people remembering Andy Lopez, a 13-year-old who died in a 2013 officer-involved shooting while he carried an airsoft gun that was designed to resemble an AK-47 assault rifle.
A group of several hundred protesters left the protest and proceeded to down Sebastopol Rd. and took over the intersection with Stony Point Rd.
They then began roving through Santa Rosa and sideshows broke out. Several people were arrested and their vehicles were towed from the scene.
As the curfew approached, police warned demonstrators they needed to disperse. Police said at the intersection of B St. and Third St., several people, and a pick-up truck knocked over and damaged a cement barrier.
Several people threw bottles at patrol vehicles and citizen vehicles.
At approximately 8:38 p.m., a police officer initiated a vehicle pursuit of a truck associated with the march. The vehicle drove at a high rate of speed, into on-coming traffic, and had two people in the truck bed. Based on those factors, the pursuit was terminated for public safety concerns.
At 9:13 p.m. officers gave the order to disperse, but most people did not disperse and leave the area. The unlawful assembly began to walk throughout the Junior College and McDonald neighborhoods.
Police said the protesters fired-off fireworks in residential neighborhoods and residents reported that people were throwing rocks at their vehicles, which were parked on the road and in driveways.
At the same time, a small group of people returned to downtown and were reported to have been breaking windows and looting local businesses. Officers quickly responded and arrested several people.
A short time later, authorities said, officers saw a man holding a shotgun near the intersection of Mendocino Ave and Benton St, near the front of the march.
An officer immediately engaged the suspect and safely took him into custody. After inspecting the gun, it was determined that the shotgun was functional, but unloaded.
Investigators said the man’s intention was see what the police would do to a “white” male holding a gun.
The suspect, Jordan Choat, a 30-year-old male from Santa Rosa, was arrested for violation of the curfew and carrying a firearm. He was booked into the Sonoma County Jail.
By 10:30 p.m, the unruly crowd took over the intersection at Mendocino Ave. and Pacific Ave. and police moved in and made arrests. In all, more than 75 people were arrested and more than 20 vehicles towed.
While conducting the dispersal, SRPD officer did not have to use chemical agents (gas) or less lethal munitions on groups.
Anyone who witnessed criminal activity was asked to immediately call and report the activity to the police department at (707) 528-5222. For media inquiries, please contact Lieutenant Jeneane Kucker at (707) 543-3573 or at email@example.com.