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Berkeley protests turn violent for a second night in a row

Demonstrators in Bay Area throw rocks, bottles at CHP officers who were trying to clear them from a highway

Peaceful protests turned violent in Berkeley for a second night, resulting in arrests, looting and the closure of a freeway.

The California Highway Patrol arrested eight “aggressive protesters” on California 24 after they threw rocks and bottles at officers who were trying to clear them from the highway, officials said.

Two officers sustained minor injuries, and protesters dented and shattered windows of five patrol cars, the CHP said. CHP posted a photograph on Facebook showing the shattered window of a patrol car.

Officers responded with tear gas to disperse the crowd, authorities said. Video showed protesters enraged after police allegedly used pepper spray on an elderly man. 

The crowd of 500 to 600 protesters gathered at 5 p.m. Sunday at the edge of the UC Berkeley campus and marched through downtown Berkeley.

At one point, some of the demonstrators smashed the window of a Radio Shack store. When a man in the crowd tried to stop them, he was struck by a hammer, Berkeley police said.

It was the second consecutive night that protests in the Bay Area over the deaths of unarmed black men in Missouri and New York ended with arrests and violence.

The previous night, three officers were hurt and six people were arrested when a protest turned unruly in the city. Scores of officers from several surrounding agencies joined the Berkeley Police Department on Saturday night to quell the unrest, which went on for hours.

Berkeley police Officer Jennifer Coats said demonstrators threw wrenches, smoke grenades and other objects at officers, and some squad cars were damaged, according to the Associated Press.

“Thank you to all the members of the community that have supported us through this difficult period of unrest,” Berkeley police said on Facebook. “We are on the skirmish line protecting your homes, families and rights, and proud to do so.”

Twitter: @Boxall@VeronicaRochaLA

 

 

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

UPDATES

10:03 a.m.: This post has been updated throughout with additional details and background.

6:11 a.m. This post has been updated throughout with additional details and background.

This post was originally published Dec. 7 at 10:53 p.m.

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