Tense Night As Thousands Take To The Streets In Oakland, Vandalize Businesses, Block Highways

By KCBS All News 106.9FM and 740AM
Updated 3:03 p.m.

Protesters upset over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis smashed windows and looted several businesses in downtown Oakland, while another demonstration blocked traffic along Highway 101 in San Jose on Friday afternoon.

In a statement Saturday, Gov. Gavin Newsom said: "I want to thank all those who helped protect human life last night and today - from community members who exercised their right to protest peacefully and encouraged others to do the same, to the law enforcement officers who faced what were, at times, challenging conditions. In California and across the country, there are indications that violent actors may be attempting to use these protests for their own agendas. We are closely monitoring organizing by violent extremist organizations ahead of tonight."

A group that started at around 300 people quickly grew to a diverse crowd of well over 1,000 protesters as the event started late Friday, marching down Broadway in the direction of Oakland Police Department headquarters. 

Oakland Police declared it "an Unlawful Assembly," announcing multiple officers were injured when projectiles were thrown. People were asked to leave the area and officers began to fire tear gas in an effort to facilitiate their exit.

Eighteen people were arrested by Oakland Police. Outside agencies arrested four people.

The department has announced 60 looters were detained. In all, six Oakland Police officers were injured and seven officers from outside agencies were injured during the demonstrations. One person was cited, and one vehicle was towed.

Breaking: #Oakland police fire tear gas at #GeorgeFloyd protesters after series of small explosions. Crowd runs. I got gassed, as did many other media. Not fun. Burning eyes, hacking cough. Been at least 17 years since I managed not to avoid the gas at a protest pic.twitter.com/T1a0Aizkch

— sovernnation (@SovernNation) May 30, 2020

"We cannot tolerate vandalism or violence in our city," Mayor Libby Schaaf said in a statement posted to Twitter. "Black-owned businesses downtown, businesses in our Chinatown were vandalized last night. Fires were set. Further compromising the health of our already scared and vulnerable populations. This is not who we are. We must fight the American travesty of racism, but we must do it in a way that works and does not destroy or harm our own community."

Oakland Interim Police Chief Susan Manheimer called on demonstrators to respect the memory of Floyd and to be respectful of downtown businesses, which have been hit hard in recent months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The crowd remained hostile and angry, throwing bottles at the police during the demonstration.

Other groups sat in peaceful protest.

Highways were not immune to the carnage in Oakland, either.

At one point, police moved in as a small group of people was trying to set up a vehicle as a barrier.

Some at the demonstration knelt in a symbolic line in front of officers.

Protesters take a knee in front of @sanjosepd https://t.co/GTqpAzv4Wb pic.twitter.com/Nc1YqImP6x

— KPIX 5 (@KPIXtv) May 30, 2020

KCBS Radio's Margie Shafer was on the scene, saying some of the protesters have left derogatory, anti-police graffiti in front of City Hall.

One San Jose Police officer has been hurt, according to San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo.

It's estimated up to 300 people were outside of City Hall at one point.

Some protesters were taken into custody. It’s not clear how many arrests have been made.

He's been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.