40 Arrested in Oakland For Hurling Bottles, Shattering Windows, Setting Fires Following Ferguson Protests in Downtown Oakland - NBC Bay Area

40 Arrested in Oakland For Hurling Bottles, Shattering Windows, Setting Fires Following Ferguson Protests in Downtown Oakland

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    40 Arrested in Oakland For Hurling Bottles, Shattering Windows, Setting Fires Following Ferguson Protests in Downtown Oakland

    Mayor Jean Quan said early Tuesday that 40 people were arrested for hurling bottles, breaking windows and setting small fires during protests, though no serious injuries were reported in Oakland following the Ferguson decision. Bob Redell reports. (Published Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014)

    Contractors began boarding up the handful of vandalized storefronts on Tuesday, the morning after about 1,000 protesters crowded downtown Oakland and blocked nearby freeways to voice their outrage after a white Ferguson police officer was not indicted for the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man.

    Mayor Jean Quan said early Tuesday that 40 people were arrested for hurling bottles, breaking windows and setting small fires during protests, though no serious injuries were reported. Quan, who drew swift global criticism during heavy police tactics during the Occupy protests of 2011, praised Oakland police for their "tremendous restraint" in the face of hundreds of protesters provoking them for hours. Several police officers were injured as well, police spokeswoman Johnna Watson said.

    "Who are you punishing?" Albert Watts said in Oakland on Tuesday morning. "Destroying property is not necessarily the way to punt it to the man."

    All the shattered glass in Oakland came after a mostly peaceful demonstration Monday night when a grand jury in Ferguson chose not to indict police officer Darren Wilson for the Aug. 9 shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown. The grand jury found no probable cause to charge Wilson after reviewing hours of witness accounts and law enforcement interviews and examining evidence in the case for the past three months.

    Though the decision was made in Missouri, the anger was felt by many across the country, including in Ferguson, where there were 82 arrests reported by Tuesday morning,  New York, Chicago, Dallas,  Los Angeles and Oakland. In San Francisco, Rev. Cecil Williams opened Glide Memorial Church, allowing the community to watch the news from the pews, and discuss their frustration under the church roof.

    In Oakland, where nearly 30 percent of the city is African-American, the streets became a familiar refuge for those disappointed - again - that a white police officer faced no criminal consequence for the shooting of an unarmed black man.

    "At least give us something," Roy Stanley of Oakland said on Monday night referring to even a lesser crime that the police officer could have been charged with. "Nothing takes your guts away."

    A woman speaking at a candlelight vigil said emotionally: "If you are black or brown in this country, you are not human. People get to take your lives and not be accountable for that."

    Oakland protesters carried signs that read "Arrest Darrel Wilson," and "Outrage!" They also staged a "die-in," where they lay down on the ground, their bodies circled in chalk to make their point.

    The biggest show of the protest was when hundreds tried to block traffic at Interstate Highway 580 at Lakeshore Boulevard and then again at Interstate Highway 880 from Seventh and Jackson Streets only to be blocked by police and made their way back to 14th Street and Broadway.

    They carried a myriad of signs that mirrored their feelings: "The whole damn system is guilty as hell." "Indict, convict, send the killer cop to jail." Among the most poignant, these three words: "Black lives matter."

     Quan added: "My prayers remain with Michael Brown and his family, and with all Oakland families that have been touched by violence. My thoughts keep coming back to the Brown family's statement: their pain and loss, their campaign to ensure that police officers wear body cameras, and most importantly their call for peaceful protest."

    On Tuesday morning, NBC Bay Area counted at least five businesses that had suffered some sort of damage from the night before - but all the damage was concentrated to several blocks between 8th and 14th streets. At Smart & Final in the 900 block of Broadway, crews put wooden boards over windows after the store had been looted and damaged. Starbucks, Wells Fargo and a Chase bank at 20th and Webster streets, all downtown, had also been vandalized, mostly with shattered windows.

    Looking at the damage, Lisa Watts wished her city wouldn't  go up in flames every time people are upset. "I hate how they destroy Oakland every time it happens," she said.

    Still, she understood that emotions run deep when injustices are perceived: "I get it...People are angry, which they should be."

    NBC Bay Area's Terry McSweeney contributed to this report.

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