Fighting Youths Lead to Closure of Bay Street for Second Straight Weekend
For the second straight weekend, a large gathering of youths became unruly leading to the closure of the Bay Street Shopping Center and a large police presence around Emeryville.
This crowd was estimated to be larger than last weeks‘ crowd with upwards of 200 youths as young as ten years old. There were no reports of protest activity.
The gathering was mostly centered around the plaza area of Bay Street where several altercations among the youths erupted. The fighting were thought to be spontaneous and not necessarily organized between the groups of youths.
@TheEvilleEye “KIDS” today at Bay Street Emmeryville. They were running and created a lil panic to the shoppers. We’re inside H&M and we heard them saying at the store “close the doors” so we decided to leave and this is what we saw while leaving the parking garage 🤦🏻♀️ pic.twitter.com/mzWhd4QufV
— iamkimg1291 (@kamgrabato) September 20, 2020
One large skirmish was captured in front of the former Elephant Bar space by shoppers fleeing the parking garage after the stores were ordered closed.
EPD requested and received mutual aid assistance from the Oakland PD and declared an “unlawful assembly“ and ordered the crowd to disperse around 5 p.m.. The squad also made contingency plans to contain a larger eruption of rioting or looting if needed.
“Our primary goal is to keep everyone safe,” noted Interim Emeryville Police Chief Hank Schreeder. “It’s tricky though. It’s a balancing act.”
Emeryville officers are equipped with riot gear and other non-lethal devices, but none were needed or utilized.
There were some reports of water bottles and rocks being thrown at the officers but no injuries or arrests were reported and no use of force was necessary. There was at least one report of vandalism.
The crowd was successfully dispersed by around 8 p.m.. “We continue to work with Bay Street and their security team and prepare for the possibility of future incidents,” Schreeder added.