Black Lives Matter Protesters Take to Streets Across Bay Area - NBC Bay Area
East Bay

East Bay

The latest news from around the East Bay

Black Lives Matter Protesters Take to Streets Across Bay Area

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Responding to a nationwide call to action regarding police violence, protesters marched in the streets of Oakland, San Francisco and San Jose Friday. Pete Suratos reports. (Published Friday, July 15, 2016)

    For the second week in a row, a protest snarled traffic in Oakland Friday in response to deadly police shooting in Minnesota and Louisiana.

    And some protesters say this is something we could start seeing on a regular basis.

    Responding to a nationwide call to action regarding police violence, protesters prompted the closure of on- and off-ramps along Interstate Highway 880 in downtown Oakland Friday evening, according to the California Highway Patrol.

    The demonstration began with between 50 and 150 protesters at 4 p.m. at Frank Ogawa Plaza and moved to the building that houses the Oakland Police Department. Protesters moved to block northbound Interstate 880 and then tried the same at westbound I-980 on-ramp, where they were met with a growing number of California Highway Patrol officers and cars.

    The group affected traffic at a number of downtown intersections, but were described as peaceful by Oakland police.

    The CHP said that the Broadway off-ramp from northbound I-880 was shut down due to the protesters at around 8:30 p.m.

    Protesters from different backgrounds came together to chant the same message: "Black lives matter! Black lives matter!"

    The affiliations of the demonstration's organizers could not be verified, but some were seen carrying "Black Lives Matter" banners. Friday is a national day of action for the movement, and organizers have urged non-violent civil disobedience. 

    In Oakland, however, sources told NBC Bay Area the protest wasn't officially sanctioned by the Black Lives Matter movement. That didn't stop demonstrators, however, from marching around downtown Oakland, calling for additional police accountability. 

    "Say his name, Philando Castilo. Alton Sterling, say his name," they chanted.

    CHP and Oakland police officers were out in force Friday, but for protesters the rally sent another message.

    A woman, who identified herself as Courtney, said, "If you don't have a black family member that's been killed by the police, at least your day is disrupted by traffic and at least you know some of the hostility we've been feeling."

    A brief altercation between a protestor and a CHP officer riled up the crowd Friday.

    "That officer that jumped out of that car and hit that man that was standing right there, next to me, for no reason, was not acceptable," Rasheda Anthony of Oakland said.

    Anthony said also that blocking freeways isn’t enough.

    "I'm all for protesting, but if you protest without some type of course of action afterwards, you're simply exercising," she said.

    People in San Francisco also rallied against police brutality Friday night. Social media posts indicated that Mission Street was blocked as officers clashed with demonstrators. 

    According to Sgt. Michael Andraychak, the protest lasted between 7 and 9:30 p.m. It began with a camera crew shooting video on Valencia Street near the Mission police station. The crew was asked not to shoot video of the demonstrators, but crew members were assaulted in the ensuing melee.

    Three protesters were arrested for battery and resisting arrest, while others in the area left. Some, however, lingered and occupied a portion of Valencia Street, where they tossed garbage onto the street and lit it on fire. 

    As officers moved to arrest the protesters, those who remained ran away. Officers extinguished the fire, but were not hurt. 

    According to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency's Twitter page, the protest caused residual delays on Muni lines 14 and 19 as people marched toward 20th Street and South Van Ness Avenue.

    About 50 Black Lives Matter protesters also gathered in San Jose Friday evening and marched peacefully from the Convention Center to City Hall. 

    Check back for updates.