More arrests, transit disruptions during fourth night of Berkeley protests
Hundreds marched through Berkeley on Tuesday night -- forcing the closure of roads and transit depots -- as the college town saw its fourth consecutive night of throngs protesting police brutality.
After gathering about 5 p.m. near the edge of the UC Berkeley campus, a crowd of dozens swelled by 8 p.m. to more than 300.
“A badge is not a license to kill,” said a sign held by one protester, emblematic of the anger and frustration over the deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of white police officers.
“So many young people are deeply upset at the racial injustice that seems quite apparent,” Kriss Worthington told the Los Angeles Times.
Worthington, a member of Berkeley’s City Council, joined several hundred demonstraters for a rally on the steps of Old City Hall.
Earlier in the day, Mayor Tom Bates canceled Tuesday night’s council meeting, anticipating that such a large crowd might overwhelm the council’s chambers, said the mayor’s special assistant, Charles Burress.
Protesters were peaceful and as of 8:15 p.m., there were no reports of vandalism, said Officer Jenn Coats, a spokeswoman for the Berkeley Police Department.
The “civil disturbance” of the sizable crowds forced the closure of the city’s downtown Bay Area Rapid Transit station, according to BART officials.
Capitol Corridor, Amtrak’s Northern California rail line, suspended service to Emeryville, Berkeley and Oakland and planned to use BART trains to relay riders around the closed stations.
Meanwhile, the California Highway Patrol -- whose officers arrested 150 people Monday night after protesters brought nearby Interstate 80 to a standstill -- were positioned Tuesday night near the freeway on-ramps, said CHP spokeswoman Officer Daniel Hill.
But the crowd marched south toward Oakland, prompting the closure of the BART’s MacArthur station. Just after 9 p.m., protesters climbed onto California 24, halting westbound traffic, according to the CHP.
Authorities confirmed that officers had arrested several protesters, but the CHP declined to identify how many were detained.
About 1,500 people demonstrated in the city Monday night and crowds numbering 600 marched through the city over the weekend. Some threw rocks and bottles at officers, according to the CHP.
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