Oakland Protests in Response to Jacob Blake Shooting


Protests occurred in Oakland last night in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake. The demonstration started peacefully but police say people began breaking windows and setting fires to businesses, cars, and the outdoor steps of the Alameda County Superior Courthouse later in the night.

Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, was shot and paralyzed from four of the seven fired at his back by police officer Rusten Sheskey in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Sunday, August 23, 2020. The shooting caused protests as part of the Black Lives Matter movement, which has seen a resurgence due to numerous police killings.

Before the demonstrations began, the Oakland Police Department sent out a series of tweets saying, “We are asking for people attending tonight’s events to respect our community and local businesses by participating in peaceful demonstrations. #OPDCARES” The Department continued to tweet“We at OPD support your right to demonstrate. We ask that organizers help us facilitate safe spaces and safe places for the demonstration. We ask attendees not to cross barricades.”

“I respect everything, but at the end of the day, make it be peaceful…All these people are resting in peace, make it be peaceful. Stop tearing up our city and places where we have to live,” said one resident.

As the night continued, the protesters grew more aggressive leading the Oakland Police Department to tweet asking the crowd to, “Stop throwing items and pointing lasers at the officers at 7th & Washington.”  700 people took part in what the Oakland police described as “violent & destructive protests” after midnight.

“Earlier this summer, a federal judge granted an injunction against OPD in how they conduct crowd control policy. As part of the ruling, tear gas, flash-bang grenades, and other less-than-lethal projectiles like rubber bullets are effectively banned, with exceptions for cases where police need to prevent injury or substantial property damage. OPD, clad in riot gear, had controversially deployed tear gas on a group of Floyd protesters near police headquarters back on June 1,” reported KTVU.

Leading Oakland PD to tweet, “We support 1st Amendment rights and have created safe spaces and safe places for demonstrators. However, setting off fireworks is illegal in Oakland. Yet agitators continue this illegal activity.”

The crowd, set fire to garbage cans, broke windows along Broadway, threw bottles and objects at officers on Grand Avenue, and temporarily shut down 19th Street BART station and traffic on I-580, according to Oakland Police Department’s Twitter account.

Authorities report several arrests were made, but no one was hurt during Wednesday’s protest.

 

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