A protest took a violent turn in Oakland Friday night with fires lit, windows shattered and businesses tagged. This followed a peaceful demonstration for Daunte Wright and Adam Toledo, both shot and killed by police.
The city urged those who live and work downtown to prepare for the possibility of more protests in the days ahead as Derek Chauvin's trial wraps up and outrage grows over the deadly police shootings of 13-year-old Toledo in Chicago and Wright in Minnesota.
"It's just preemptive," Jarret Whitmore, manager of Have a Heart cannabis dispensary, said. "I understand it. I actually am not mad at it at all."
Whitmore knew something was up when he showed up to work Friday.
"I also noticed the barricade over there," he said. "I think it’s better safe than sorry, especially when all the protests kind of meet right here in front of the police department."
He’s talking about what happened in Oakland last year after the death of George Floyd and the summer of racial reckoning that followed.
"We never closed," Whitmore said. "Throughout all 2020, throughout all those protests, we never closed our doors."
Demonstrators squared off with police outside of police headquarters. Vandals saw an opportunity and broke into businesses already struggling during the pandemic.
Fast-forward to Friday and barricades once again surrounded police headquarters and blank wooden boards were back up.
Boarded up again.— Melissa Colorado (@melissacolorado) April 16, 2021
Multiple businesses in downtown #Oakland have opted to board up their windows & doors, in the event of any potential demonstrations this weekend for #DaunteWright & #AdamToledo. OPD HQ is also blocked off & surrounded by barricades. @nbcbayarea pic.twitter.com/8M3CuYBild
It’s not just food & retail shops boarding up. The Breuner Building on Broadway, which includes @WeWork office space, has a crew of workers boarding up all glass windows. @nbcbayarea pic.twitter.com/STbNP5rLrM— Melissa Colorado (@melissacolorado) April 16, 2021
The city is asking people to keep their businesses and homes well-lit and bring in any unsecured items that could be used to break a window.
As the manager of a Black-owned business, Whitmore feels safe, but he also said there’s reason for outrage.
"And then the new video of the 13-year-old kid in Chicago, I totally understand," he said.
The city said it will continue to facilitate peaceful demonstrations, but it's also reminding businesses and those who live downtown to turn on their surveillance systems if they have them.