Berkeley protest ends in vandalism, clashes with police

Protest in Berkeley over police killings ends in vandalism of police cars, businesses

Police clashed with protesters Saturday night in Berkeley during a demonstration by several hundred people over police killings.

According to a statement by Berkeley police, "numerous police vehicles were vandalized" and officers used smoke and tear gas after the protesters refused to disperse. Police said rocks and bottles were thrown and some businesses were damaged.

Police from around the East Bay converged on Berkeley to help deal with the protest.

Images on social media show shattered windows at several businesses as well as police firing smoke devices at protesters. Police said among the businesses vandalized were a Trader Joe's, a Radio Shack and a Wells Fargo Bank branch.

The demonstration in Berkeley was one of a number of protests against decisions by grand juries in Ferguson, Mo., and New York not to indict police officers in the deaths of African American men.

In Los Angeles, hundreds of people marched peacefully down Hollywood Boulevard on Saturday.

The march, called Blackout Hollywood, began about noon at Hollywood Boulevard and Argyle Avenue and continued west along Hollywood Boulevard to the TCL Chinese Theater.

Many demonstrators were dressed in black clothing. Some held their hands in the air or lay down on the pavement in protest. Some demonstrators held signs and chanted refrains such as “black lives matter,” “hands up, don’t shoot" and other slogans that have become widespread in the recent wave of protests over police killings.

“We blacked out Hollywood for a couple of hours to bring awareness to the issues that are going on in America right now: police brutality, the lack of justice for Eric Garner, Michael Brown and the failure of our judicial system,” said Darnell Appling, 27.

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