Oakland Sees Third Consecutive Night of Ferguson-Related Protests - NBC Bay Area

Oakland Sees Third Consecutive Night of Ferguson-Related Protests

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    Oakland Sees Third Consecutive Night of Ferguson-Related Protests

    Oakland police have called in additional help from outside agencies to respond to continuing protests including more California Highway Patrol officers assigned to protecting freeway access, officials said. Terry McSweeney reports. (Published Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014)

    Oakland police have called in additional help from outside agencies to respond to continuing protests including more California Highway Patrol officers assigned to protecting freeway access, officials said.

    Protestors on Wednesday marched from Frank Ogawa Plaza at 7 p.m.  in the third such event this week responding to a grand jury's decision to not indict Ferguson, Missouri, Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown on Aug. 9.

    At about 9:30 p.m. a group of protesters were spotted by the NBC helicopter vandalizing buildings with graffiti. The group was also seen smashing windows at the Oakland Tribune and CVS store.

    Police arrested 135 people during the first two nights of protests on suspicion of charges including looting, vandalism, assault, failure to disperse, obstruction and obstructing a highway.

    On Wednesday morning, Oakland shopkeepers took out the brooms and the wooden boards to clean up after the previous night of protests.

    And the damage on Wednesday morning was worse than the day before. Oakland police spokeswoman Johnna Watson said officers arrested 92 people on Tuesday night compared to about 40 the night before. Three officers were also injured. And the rioting was more intense in other parts of the state and country as well.

    "I have a hard time understanding why people would ruin things in their own neighborhood to try to prove a point," said Import Motors owner Mark Anthony, after his son called him Tuesday night to tell him he was watching vandals smash his company windows on TV. "It's terrible what happened but why vandalize or break things? It doesn't make sense."

    Anthony estimates his business Avenue suffered about $10,000 in damage from the broken glass at his shop, including a damaged blue 1968 convertible Mercedes, that someone threw a brick into during the chaos. Darlene Drapkin of the Temescal-Telegraph Business Improvement District wrote an open letter to the Oakland police department, criticizing what she feels was a delayed response in reaction to the violent vandalism. "I watched these stores being looted," she said, "and the police weren't close enough."

    The Temescal Telegraph Business Improvement District on Wednesday released an open letter addressing the vandalism and looting at its shops. The letter -- addressed to Mayor Elect Libby Schaaf, Oakland City Council and Oakland Police Chief Sean Whent -- said police and city leaders did not do enough to deter the vandals during the protests.

    "Time and again the vandals lash out with impunity at local businesses in Oakland," the district wrote in the letter. "The repeated failure of the Oakland Police Department and our elected officials to distinguish between protected protest and criminal vandalism is unacceptable."

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    Whent acknowledged some shortcomings, saying officers were so busy trying to stop protesters from going on the freeway that not enough cops were in downtown Oakland and in the Temescal neighborhood. "Tonight, we're trying to correct for that that," he said.

    Around the country, the protests and chants that "Black lives matter" echoed in cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, New York and Washington, D.C. Activists came out to decry this week's decision by a grand jury not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson with any crime after he fatally shot 18-year-old Michael Brown on Aug. 9.

    Back in Oakland, the protests turned to vandalism. On Tuesday night, the NBC chopper spotted vandals smashing the windows of Kelly Moore paint and Import Motors, both on the 4000 block of Telegraph Avenue. AT&T Mobile and Walgreens, all in the same area of Telegraph Avenue, also suffered damaged and looting.

    Nearby, someone threw buckets of white paint - stolen from Kelly Moore - that nearly missed Arbor Cafe but splattered all over Second and Telegraph streets. Kelly Moore itself was covered in graffiti.

    Arbor Cafe owner Eric Marquez is all for freedom of speech, but was upset with how the protesters are voicing their outrage.

    Business Owners Say Oakland Police Didn't Do Enough to Deter Vandals, Protesters

    [BAY] Business Owners Say Oakland Police Didn't Do Enough to Deter Vandals, Protesters
    Oakland police and city leaders are under fire from business owners who were targeted by vandals during Ferguson-related protests this week. Jodi Hernandez reports.
    (Published Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014)

    "It was violent, chaotic, and I think very unnecessary," Marquez said.

     

     NBC Bay Area's Kim Tere, Bay City News and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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