BREAKING: Police Working to Contain Mass-Looting Throughout Emeryville

Published On May 30, 2020 | By Rob Arias | Crime & Public Safety, News & Commentary, Social Justice & Activism

After Friday’s Oakland protests descended into violence and looting, area residents braced for the possibility of another night of unrest. Some protesters apparently opted to shift their attention to neighboring Emeryville. But from the get go, this group seemed to have a more specific agenda of vandalism and looting.

Social Media posts like the one shown below circulated in an Instagram story showed a picture of Bay Street noting ”we gonna protest hit the Emeryville Target” with two fire emoji’s and “Break every stores” [sic].

Bay Street Property Management got word of the threats and acted to alert their residents and shops. The Shoe Palace was seen  boarded up and all the display merchandise at the Apple Store were completely vacated.

Trader Joe’s and Target were also boarded up and many other stores reportedly closed early.

Outgoing Emeryville Police Department Chief Jennifer Tejada tweeted a heartfelt statement decrying the Minneapolis police officer killing of George Floyd that had initiated protests across the country and reiterating her own force’s policies. “We do NOT train our officers to do this. Every fiber of my being is rattled, disgusted, horrified, deeply saddened, & embarrassed.”

Tejada also issued a nixel alert asking for the community’s help keeping the city safe and asking residents to continue to abide by the ‘Shelter in Place’ order.

The helicopters and sirens started at abruptly 7 p.m. as a train of police vans including an armored “Bear Cat” could be seen making their way into Emeryville to contain any looting attempts.

There didn’t appear to be any coordinated marches or signs to draw attention to the plight of these protesters and the their age demographic appeared to lean heavily toward youth.

Unlike last night in Oakland when the violence didn’t begin until later in the evening, the looting began almost immediately. The Gamestop on Hollis was the first store to be breached at about 7:10 p.m. followed by Best Buy and then Decathlon.

About 8:45, protesters could be seen from a helicopter looting UNIQLO and H&M at Bay Street. There were additional reports of looting at Powell Street Plaza including Ross, the Chase Bank branch and Starbucks as well at the Public Market including Guitar Center and Urban Outfitters.

Participating agencies included BART PD, Berkeley PD, CHP, Oakland PD, UCPD and a squad of 15 from Marin County.

As of 10 p.m., there were still scattered reports of looting as EPD joined by neighboring agencies worked to contain the scattered pockets of protesters. Participating agencies included BART PD, Berkeley PD, CHP, Oakland PD, UCPD and a squad of 15 from Marin County.

KTVU produced a video segment with interviews with local Emeryville leaders including 2020 Mayor Christian Patz and Councilmember John Bauters. “This is a just a sign of the frustration that people are having and the challenges and I want to commend EPD for their measured response and being out there and keeping people safe this evening.”

Sunday 5/31 update: As of 3 a.m EPD was still on the scene according to Chief Jennifer Tejada. “We will be assessing the damage soon but I can tell you that almost every store in East Bay Bridge Center, Bay St, and Powell St Plaza, and some at Public Market and along San Pablo were either damaged or looted.”

Since this is breaking news, we will update this story as events unfold and new information becomes available.

Feature Image: @LCRWnews

About The Author

is a third generation Californian and East Bay native who moved to Emeryville in 2003. A new parent in the community, he can often be seen walking his French Bulldog rescue "Fiona" around his Park Avenue District neighborhood, traversing the greenway on his bike or enjoying his favorite Emeryville small businesses. Rob's "day job" is as a creative professional.

37 Responses to BREAKING: Police Working to Contain Mass-Looting Throughout Emeryville

  1. Willa says:

    I disagree with labeling these looters as “protesters”. I am not drawing any connections between these criminals and folks who are demonstrating against police brutality and systemic racism.

    • Rob Arias says:

      Agreed and I’ve updated. Thanks.

      • eville neighbor says:

        “But from the get go, this group of protesters seemed to have a more specific agenda of vandalism and looting.” rephrase? not protestors! (also “protesters” is misspelled.”)

      • Yes, these were opportunistic criminals, not protesters.

        I stopped going to Bay Street at night years ago as I did not feel safe.

  2. Anonymous says:

    There does not appear to have been any protest. Just looting.

  3. Elisabeth says:

    Unruly youth without motivation except to steal. They are not protesters — agreed. AND there are no leaders among these groups. Its a free-for-all. We have to address this kind of unrest quickly as the numbers of unemployed youth will be the staggering this summer….the highest in my lifetime. And I’m a grandmother.

  4. Anonymous says:

    All looting. Shame on this people using George Floyd’s name to justify their looting. This is not a protest. This is theft and vandalism. Period.

    • Getting fired and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter is not accountable? says:

      “Am I for looting? No,” city councilman John Bauters said. “But who cares about the Target right now when there is a lack of police accountability in this country. When are we going to prioritize that?”

      Our city council is not aware of the evilleeye.com article dated February 24, 2020? “Our city once again raised eyebrows by topping an annual list of “most dangerous” cities in California.”

      Pretty soon – Target, Best Buy, Game Stop, H&M, Uniqlo, etc. are not going to care about Emeryville when there is a lack of city council accountability in this community. Our city council members continue to glorify looting and violence. SMH.

      • Anonymous says:

        No the leaders are glorifying their own political agendas.

        Nothing like Bauters using young black men and women to promote his advancement.

        That’s progress.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The mayor has got to go. This is absolutely pathetic. Why would anyone want to do business in Emeryville with a lame duck Mayor unable to adequately protect the businesses in the city .This is not a freak thing, it’s been happening in Oakland and Emeryville for decades. More specifically there have been countless of these looting riots in the last ten years that they should have a iron clad plan in place to combat these riots. I support black lives matter, I support justice for George Floyd but allowing city’s to be disrespected by vandals is inexcusable.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Mayor Libby of Oakland and whoever is the Mayor of Emeryville have got to go. There incompetence at handling these semi annual events is mind boggling. What company’s want to do business in city’s like this that have there thumbs in there asses when it comes to combating these type of situations.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Rob – thanks for your reporting. Stay safe

  8. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for continuing to report about our city, Rob. Stay safe,

  9. Ryan Thurman says:

    Ladies and gentlemen, the Black Lives Matter movement in all its glory.

    • No. These are criminals using the protests as a smokescreen.

      Whether you agree with the politics of Black Lives Matter or not, it’s unfair to attribute this looting and vandalism to them.

  10. Anonymous says:

    It’s a pathetic indication of our city council and their inability to represent the entire community. On a related story posted by local TV news, Bauter’s comment about looting (how would he feel if he were threatened by a raging group of looters at his place of residence) to Patz’s empty rhetoric about social injustice, these social “warriors” wilted when the proverbial sh*t hit the fan.

  11. Anonymous says:

    And Newsom wants to close the juvenile halls and just put these lost youth back on the streets. I’m sure once they figure out there are absolutely no ramifications for crime in our state they will all conform. Might be time to cash out of California and move to a state that still prioritizes families.
    https://www.sfchronicle.com/news/article/Newsom-proposes-closing-youth-prisons-as-crime-15292274.php

    • Anonymous says:

      The Minneapolis police responded to a shop owners call for assistance when George Floyd tried to use a fake twenty dollar bill to buy cigarettes. Questioning and handcuffing George Floyd was by the book. Why isn’t the media showing the video of George Floyd kicking and fighting the officers when they put him in the back of the police car? He required restraint. Tolerating behavior that hurts all of us, including looting, just encourages more in the future.

      • Anonymous says:

        It does not constitute murdering someone. Do not try to equate that level of infraction (if it does in fact exist) over the horrendous loss of life.

      • I guess the horrendous looting is justified? says:

        “It does not constitute murdering someone. Do not try to equate that level of infraction (if it does in fact exist) over the horrendous loss of life.” was written by somebody who must think the infraction of passing counterfeit bills equates to kicking a police officer in the face and chest while already restrained in the back of the police car?

        And it was written by someone who must refuse to acknowledge that from 1976 to 2005, 94 percent of black murder victims were killed by other African Americans? Apparently “Black Lives Matter” only in certain cases?

        From 1976 to 2014, it is estimated that 198,288 African Americans died nationwide at the hands of black killers. That’s 5,218 deaths per year on average, roughly 19 times the annual number of deaths of African Americans in confrontations with police. Additionally, studies show about 50% of police shootings have been considered “suicide by cop.”

        This isn’t about protesting. This is about getting free tv’s and clothes. And city councilors are condoning it.

    • Ryan Thurman says:

      I’ve been thinking about it too. I’m not sure how long it will take for California residents to demand something better than what Newsom has brought us.

      He trashed SF, now he is trashing the state.

  12. Anonymous says:

    At least Tejada is leaving.

    The rest of city council is just milking Emeryville for all its worth, which won’t be much soon.

  13. Anonymous says:

    WHERE IS THAT VIDEO?

  14. Armel says:

    As a home owner at Bay Street I want to say that the Emeryville PD did an amazing job for something that was completely overwhelming and scary. We watched from above as the Eville PD were being thrown rocks and yelled profanity at. They did an amazing job by practicing restraint and protecting all of the residents in Eville. Our Eville PD is a diverse and inclusive group and we can always count on them.

    I say we combat these negative images that have been plastered all over the media of Emeryville from these hateful looters (who appeared to come from other cities/places as there were too many cars for them to be Eville residents) by organizing a real “Peaceful Black Lives March” for next Saturday or Sunday. Maybe we can get our fellow Pixar residents involved and make this a family friendly and pet friendly march from Pixar gates over the Shellmound Bridge, through Bay Street and end at our Marina? This will show the world and the looters that we support Black Lives Matter and that Emeryville has always been a diverse community where everyone cares about each other! I am picturing a socially distant march with black and white balloons separating us!

    Feel free to email me and I can help to organize!

    Maybe next Saturday at 10am?

  15. Bob says:

    Far far more African-Americans are killed from black-on-black gang violence than by white police officers. Like orders of magnitude more.

    Liberal politicians and their divisive racial & gender-based identity politics have ruined this city and country.

    • Anonymous says:

      Did you hear the young girl repeatedly asking “Mom?”, “Mom?”, “Mom?” during the Best Buy looting video? Thug behavior is taught via example.

    • Anonymous says:

      More white people kill white people than any other. White on white crime is taught by racists who perpetuate what you say. I call them “Republicans”

      • Never let facts get in the way of your beliefs brother says:

        Wikipedia:
        According to the US Department of Justice, African Americans accounted for 52.5% of all homicide offenders from 1980 to 2008, with Whites 45.3% and “Other” 2.2%. The offending rate for African Americans was almost 8 times higher than Whites, and the victim rate 6 times higher. Most homicides were intraracial, with 84% of White victims killed by Whites, and 93% of African American victims were killed by African Americans.

        In 2013, African Americans accounted for 52.2% of all murder arrests, with Whites 45.3% and Asians/Native Americans 2.5%. Of the above, 21.7% were Hispanic.

        Blacks account for the majority of gun homicide victims/arrestees in the US while Whites account for the vast majority of non-gun homicide victims/arrestees. Of the gun murder victims in the United States between 2007–2016, 57% were black, 40.6% white (including Hispanic), 1.35% Asian, 0.98% unknown race and 0.48% Native American.

        Non-gun homicides represented about 30% of total murders in the time period. Blacks were still overrepresented although only by about 2.5x their share of the general population. Of the non-gun murder victims in the United States between 2007–2016, 61.5% were white (including Hispanic), 32.9% black, 2.29% Asian, 1.89% unknown race and 1.43% Native American.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Gavins political career is over. I am a life long Democrat and was a fan of Newsom, I liked his Proactive approach to handling the corona crisis, I feel like I share most his Political values and that he potentially would make a good president. Boy has my opinion changed because of his ridiculous response to these riots for a multitude of reasons. Looting and vandalism is never acceptable, the spread of corona has got to be rampant at these riots , loot parties. Outrageous. #gavinwillmakeagreatlittleleagueempire

    • "An opportunity to fundamentally transform this country" says:

      With the connivance of the mainstream media, Democrats in power have been scheming to doom President Trump by every undemocratic method conceivable. They have claimed that Trump is a traitor, out of his mind, an election cheat, subject to foreign bribery, and guilty of criminal campaign finance violations. (All of which Hillary was guilty of.) They insisted that Trump should be removed by his own cabinet under the 25th Amendment as a result of his alleged insanity, or because of a personal payoff to Stormy Daniels, or the “corruption” of foreign diplomats having beer and burgers at the Trump International Hotel in Washington. Mueller failed. Impeachment failed. Calling Trump xenophobic and encouraging people to gather weeks after COVID-19 was in USA also failed. Gavin allows shopping malls to open at 50% capacity but says churches can only open at 25% capacity. Now Emeryville city councilors say “Ho Hum” when businesses that produce taxes are looted. Say goodbye to the geese that lay the golden eggs Emeryville. Say goodbye to capitalism and democracy America.

      • Very well said. The attitude of the City Council to its business community is despicable. We USED to have a City government that appreciated and valued its business community. But no more. These economic illiterates that you guys elected and keep re-electing to office will eventually impoverish Emeryville and greatly reduce the quality of life there.

  17. anonymous says:

    There is in fact an AC Alert system but NO alert was sent out on Saturday, no curfew established until after the fact on Sunday, but from these reports, apparently there was enough time (thank goodness) for at least some advance preparation for what was looting pure and simple the day before.

    At the VERY least, why NO AC Alert on Saturday? Why in the world – since this looting had apparently some degree of forewarning – were these measures NOT proactively put in place even a few hours in advance and NO AC ALERT send out on Saturday?

  18. Anonymous says:

    Emeryville is a terrible place to run a business. If you are thinking about opening up shop, do yourself a favor and choose another city. If you are a small business, run, do not walk, to the nearest exit.

    The City Council is filled with ideologues. There is zero interest in the business community or even basic understanding of how economics works. Emeryville is just a tool used to promote policies people want to show off at the national level, and a way to hype the aspirations of individuals on the City Council.

    Terrible place to run a business. You have been warned.

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