Fighting Youths Lead to Closure of Bay Street for Second Straight Weekend

Published On September 19, 2020 | By Rob Arias | Crime & Public Safety, News & Commentary

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.

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.


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“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.

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.

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