Oakland Residents Fed Up With Destruction Following Ferguson-Related Protests

Three nights of protests have left much of downtown Oakland boarded up and littered with graffiti.

The vandalism has also left children who live and visit the city feeling trampled on.

"I want to live in a clean city," said Teretha Scott, 8. "But every time I come out here there's something wrong. I see it on the news every day. I don't want to come to this."

The nightly protests since Monday followed a Missouri grand jury's decision to not charge Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for fatally shooting unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown on Aug. 9.

Oakland police said 35 people were arrested for crimes in downtown on Wednesday. Police appeared to take more aggressive tactics on Wednesday night, but were unable to stop things from spinning out of control.

More businesses in downtown, including the Oakland Tribune and storefronts in West Oakland, were hit by vandals. And to make matters worse, a sideshow event unrelated to the protests took place late Wednesday at the Port of Oakland.

Authorities said 150 cars showed up to the event until the California Highway Patrol and Alameda County Sheriff's Office shut it down.

Many in Oakland said they are fed up with all the destruction.

"I think if any people have any sense in this city they wouldn't join the rioters and they'll just let this die off," Oakland-resident Anthony Wilson said.

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.

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."

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.

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