Vandalism, looting, tense moments in Bay Area as George Floyd protests turn ugly
Protesters in the Bay Area blocked freeways and vandalized stores during protests overnight against the killing of George Floyd.
Meanwhile, more than 500 were arrested after looting and vandalism swept downtown L.A.
About 1,000 protesters gathered in Oakland. They smashed windows, sprayed buildings with anti-police graffiti and were met with chemical spray from police. Authorities said officers were injured when projectiles were thrown and they were asking people to leave the area.
Two Federal Protective Service officers were wounded by gunfire, one of them fatally, outside the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building. It wasn’t immediately clear whether the incident was related to protests that erupted several blocks away at police headquarters.
A vehicle pulled up to the U.S. courthouse at 1301 Clay St. about 9:45 p.m., and someone inside fired gunshots at the contract security officers, the FBI said in a statement.
One officer was killed and another was injured. There was no word on that officer’s condition. No arrest was reported.
The Federal Protective Service, which falls under the Department of Homeland Security, oversees the protection of buildings owned or leased by the General Services Administration.
The FBI’s San Francisco field office and the Oakland Police Department were investigating the shooting.
Earlier in the night, the demonstrators blocked the 880 Freeway in Oakland.
In San Jose, protesters temporarily shut down the 101 Freeway.
Hundreds of demonstrators began marching at San Jose City Hall on Friday before running onto the 101 Freeway at Santa Clara Street. They briefly blocked freeway traffic before returning to downtown San Jose.
“One of our officers was injured and transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries,” San Jose Police Officer Gina Tepoorten said in an emailed statement. “We do not have all the details at this time.”
San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said he understood the anger but urged peaceful protests.
“Anger and peaceful protest will always be appropriate responses to injustice; violence will never be,” Liccardo tweeted Friday afternoon. “San Jose is united in outrage over the atrocious crime committed in Minneapolis and in sadness over George Floyd’s horrible death.”
Floyd’s deadly encounter with police began Monday night in Minneapolis after Floyd, a black man, was accused of trying to use a counterfeit $20 bill at a grocery store.
Cellphone video of Floyd’s arrest outside the business shows Officer Derek Chauvin, who is white, driving his knee into the 46-year-old’s neck as Floyd, pleads that he can’t breathe. After several minutes, Floyd appears to lose consciousness, and a bystander can be heard yelling that Floyd’s nose is bleeding. Even as paramedics arrive to check Floyd’s pulse, Chauvin’s knee remains positioned on the man’s neck.
Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter on Friday.
At one point, protesters captured a video of a vehicle running over several protesters. The San Jose Mercury News reported police fired on the SUV. A car was also see driving through a crowd at a rally in Bakersfield. There were also tense moments during a Sacramento rally.
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