A fourth consecutive night of protests saw civil unrest breach the borders of Emeryville yet again. Marchers returning to Berkeley from Downtown Oakland along San Pablo Broke Windows at 7-Eleven, Bank of America and an unnamed Hair salon (presumed to be The Oasis Pamper Bar). Protesters, reportedly joined by members of the surrounding community, then looted CVS and Pak N Save and stole at least one till drawer (Feature Image: @SFChronicle on Twitter).
The City of Berkeley opted to cancel its regularly scheduled City Council Meeting as fears of it being the focal point of disruptions surfaced. The protesters instead headed south on Telegraph Avenue toward Downtown Oakland. The crowds attempted to seize Highway 24th and 980 along the way but were met with nonlethal weaponry by CHP (not by OPD as some reported) including beanbags, pepper spray and flash grenades that thwarted this.
— Lt. Chris Bolton (@OPDChris) December 10, 2014
The Protesters then proceeded through downtown Oakland then back north on San Pablo to Emeryville and North Oakland (an estimated 13 combined miles). This is when things turned ugly and the reports began trickling in of mayhem. The crowds, estimated at only a few hundred and reportedly joined by members of the surrounding Community, broke windows at B of A to the chants of “F*ck the banks, we don’t need them. All we want is total freedom.”
— Sophie Ho (@sophanho) December 10, 2014
— Dave Id (@DaveId) December 10, 2014
The crowds thinned to less than 100 by 12:30 and police brought in armored vehicles at 55th & Market to meet the splinter groups that dispersed. The evening was contained by 1pm.
The EPD, in anticipation of more protests, issued a rare Nixle alert that provided reassurance to residents of its commitment to keeping the community safe:
We hope that any future demonstrations remain peaceful. As is their mission, Emeryville Police will continue to facilitate the safe and peaceful movement of demonstrations in our City. To aid our Police Department, the City asks that Emeryville businesses make sure to update their emergency contact card and be prepared in case of vandalism to have someone available to respond to secure your business. Please contact Emeryville Police at 596-3700 for non-emergencies and 911 for emergencies.
Emeryville Police will continue to work with other jurisdictions in the region to continue to keep this community safe and facilitate peaceful protest.
Recently appointed Mayor Ruth Atkin issued the following statement to The E’ville Eye:
The groundswell of protest across the country against the killing of unarmed African-American young men by police officers highlights a broken system of justice. Most of the protesters have been peaceful. However, the acts of vandalism against property cannot be condoned. Some protesters attempted to guard vandalized businesses until police arrived. These acts of vandalism do not serve to right a wrong. I encourage people to look within themselves to understand the deeply-rooted institutionalized issues motivating these protests.
Black lives matter.
KTVU video of last nights looting including surveillance footage and interviews: