Protesters reconvene for 2nd night of demonstrations, more destructive than the 1st

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Rachael Garner/Staff

Update 12/8/14: This article has been updated to reflect further information from the Berkeley Police Department.

A minority of protesters shattered Civic Center windows, vandalized Berkeley storefronts and blocked an Oakland highway Sunday on the second night of increasingly destructive demonstrations over the recent deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of police.

Five individuals connected to the demonstrations were arrested Sunday night, according to Berkeley Police Department spokesperson Officer Jennifer Coats. They included an individual arrested on suspicion of damaging Trader Joe’s and an individual arrested on suspicion of throwing a heavy object that injured a BPD officer.

Demonstrators returned to Berkeley by 11 p.m. after stopping traffic on the Highway 24 on-ramp in Oakland. Several cries of “peaceful protest” were ignored as protesters marched through the areas of Telegraph Avenue and Downtown Berkeley. Members of the crowd allegedly began damaging store windows near campus, including those of The Student Store and CREAM, while many other protesters linked arms and stood in front of cracked windows in an attempt to prevent further damage.

The windows of cellular providers and some ATMs of several banks were also damaged as protesters continued down Bancroft Way toward Shattuck Avenue. At about 11:42 p.m., police formed a line at the corner of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Allston ways, and, soon after, members of the crowd threw garbage bins into the streets and set them on fire.

At 12:23 a.m., about 200 protesters marched up Ashby Avenue toward Telegraph Avenue, after about 10 people allegedly vandalized Walgreens, Berkeley Bowl and Any Mountain on Shattuck Avenue just south of Russell Street. Once they reached the intersection of Telegraph and Ashby avenues, about a dozen people broke into Whole Foods.

Ten minutes later, police arrived at the scene, causing many protesters to disperse. Soon after, a bus carrying police arrived at the intersection of 66th Street and Telegraph Avenue. Police congregated just south of Whole Foods, advising protesters to go north rather than continue south on Telegraph.

Follow the path of the protests below.


View this map on Google Maps.

The protest had begun peacefully at 5 p.m., when demonstrators marched from Telegraph Avenue and Bancroft Way, chanting, “Out of the house and into the streets.” They passed in front of Unit 1, Unit 2 and Unit 3 — three residence halls — before heading Downtown, where they blocked traffic.

Adhithya Ravi, a UC Berkeley sophomore who attended the first day of protests around midnight, said he joined Sunday’s continuing march because of the violence he witnessed Saturday and through videos online.

“At first, I thought the cops were there just for crowd control, but my friends were backing up, and the cops were pushing a stick at them,” Ravi said. “It was awful because I saw so many of my friends get pushed — that hurt more than anything.”

Protesters met a police barricade at Martin Luther King, Jr. Way and Addison Street. The group then turned and marched past Civic Center Park before returning southbound on Shattuck Avenue toward the highway, where protest leaders briefly spoke to the crowd to address matters of safety, advising them to stay peaceful.

As of about 7:30 p.m., the protest was largely peaceful, except for a bottle thrown at police officers, according to an alert from the Berkeley Police Department. Yet soon afterward, some members of the demonstration allegedly smashed in the windows of a RadioShack located at Shattuck Avenue and Dwight Way. Others shouted, “Peaceful protest.”

According to BPD spokesperson Officer Jennifer Coats, a man was hospitalized after being hit by a hammer while attempting to prevent vandalism at the store.

By 8 p.m., a group of 100 to 200 protesters steadily marched south on Shattuck Avenue toward the Highway 24, yelling, “Shut it down,” while another group splintered off onto Ward Street toward Telegraph Avenue. They eventually regrouped to try to stop traffic on the highway, rejoining protesters who were sitting and waiting a block away from the on-ramp at 52nd Street and Shattuck Avenue.

There, California Highway Patrol officers formed a police line. At approximately 8:45 p.m., police deployed tear gas near the on-ramp.

About 100 to 150 protesters climbed an ivy wall to the side of the ramp onto the blocked highway. The remaining majority of protesters decided to turn and march down Claremont Avenue toward Clifton Street. An advancing police line pushed the highway protesters down the highway to exit at Clifton Street, where they rejoined the main group.

Tensions rose around 10 p.m., when a brick was thrown through the back window of an empty highway patrol car. Protesters were shouting at their peers for a “peaceful protest.” Minutes later, a few protesters allegedly slashed the tires of police cars and attempted to flip over another car under the freeway overpass.

Protesters then returned north on Telegraph, where a minority of protesters vandalized businesses.  Yet by 1:35 a.m., the majority of protesters had dispersed. A group of about 100 people remained at the intersection of Telegraph and Alcatraz avenues, where a few people allegedly started a fire.

Similar to Sunday, protesters congregated Saturday on campus around 5 p.m. and made their way Downtown, where they rallied outside the Berkeley Police Department. The group faced a police line off of University Avenue, and soon after, a few members allegedly vandalized storefronts, including those of Wells Fargo, RadioShack and Trader Joe’s — the third of which resumed regular hours the next morning.

On Saturday, officers reported being hit with rocks and bricks, and they eventually deployed multiple rounds of tear gas. Throughout the night, demonstrators traveled to the border of Oakland and back, ranging in number from up to 1,000 to the handful who remained when the crowd dispersed about 2:30 a.m.

Sunday’s protesters included Councilmember Jesse Arreguin, who called for an investigation of the force used by police Saturday night.

“I’ve gotten a number of reports from people who were nonviolently protesting, but there was excessive police force,” Arreguin said.

On Saturday night, six individuals were arrested, including a juvenile. Kyle McCoy, a former UC Berkeley student who was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, will be arraigned Monday in Oakland at 2 p.m.

Multiple Facebook events were created encouraging students and community members to clean up in response to the destruction of property throughout the city. According to Coats, the City of Berkeley Public Works Department is in the process of helping secure and board the windows of affected businesses.

Senior staff writers Sophie Ho and Kimberly Veklerov and staff writers Jessie Lau and Arielle Swedback contributed to this report.

Contact Bo Kovitz, Chloee Weiner and Melissa Wen at [email protected].

Correction(s):
A previous version of this article stated that windows were shattered at the Cal Student Store. In fact, windows were damaged at The Student Store, located at 2470-2480 Bancroft Way.

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  • Kathleen Blackwell

    I doubt any societal wrong is solved through song, though vandalism and looting are even less effective.

    You apparently have little, if any, care for the many local businesses that have been caught in the crossfire. Our lost incomes will not end corruption; our shattered windows will not mend society. You fail to see us as your neighbors- rather, a convenient billboard upon which you broadcast your ideals.

  • zuper

    All the things you mention omit the fact that Officer Wilson unloaded on an unarmed man, and didn’t stop until he was dead. Are you trying to argue that after the first 5 bullets, Officer Wilson, still felt threatened enough to fire 3 more?

    What Brown did before the killing, still doesn’t warrant that type of response. Wilson’s track record is irrelevant, it does not negate the possibility that he became enraged and decided to finish Brown off in a fit of anger. People with squeaky clean-records and families at home become unhinged under duress, none of this makes a strong argument for Wilson.

    Do you know anyone who can withstand 6 shots and still continue to advance on their assailant?

    This protest was not about Ferguson alone. What about Eric Garner? Are you going to say that continuing a choke-hold on a man who repeatedly said that he couldn’t breathe, a man who was not being violent, was justified?

    • peepsqueek

      Brown was not armed with a gun. He was a 6’4″ 300lb young man, using his fists as weapons (as witnessed and testified to). Of course we must negate the “possibility” that Officer Wilson became enraged, because that was not in the collected evidence. We something happens in less than a minute, you do not have time to become enraged.

      Eric Garner is a completely different case that needs to be revisited in a Court. He was taken down legally, but then, as we all witnessed from the video, the Officer did not release the choke hold until Garner was without any oxygen, and I did not see anyone attempting to give him oxygen. It also happened in less than a minute, and a lot of things went very wrong. Garner was arrested 31 prior time and should have known the routine. But he did not deserve to die in that manner.

      • zuper

        “When something happens in less than a minute, you do not have time to become enraged.”

        Have you ever been punched in the face?, It’s a surefire way to enrage someone in under a minute. Let’s say you personally could keep your cool, we’ve all known someone in our lives who in the heat of a moment could get a little carried away. Officer Wilson happened to have a gun.

        I’m not even saying I believe Brown attacked him. What I am saying is that an excessive number of bullets were fired at an unarmed man. His stature doesn’t warrant that many bullets. Was he a big man? yes, but not Superman. Were 8 bullets really required to bring him down? That alone warrants further consideration.

        However I have no faith that even if officer Wilson were indicted would he ever face jail time. That’s why people are protesting right now. The justice system has failed and has been failing for quite some time. .

    • peepsqueek

      Brown was not armed with a gun. He was a 6’4″ 300lb young man, using his fists as weapons (as witnessed and testified to). Of course we must negate the “possibility” that Officer Wilson became enraged, because that was not in the collected evidence. We something happens in less than a minute, you do not have time to become enraged.

      Eric Garner is a completely different case that needs to be revisited in a Court. He was taken down legally, but then, as we all witnessed from the video, the Officer did not release the choke hold until Garner was without any oxygen, and I did not see anyone attempting to give him oxygen. It also happened in less than a minute, and a lot of things went very wrong. Garner was arrested 31 prior time and should have known the routine. But he did not deserve to die in that manner.

  • CrowdAlbum
  • California Defender

    Further proof that Berkeley is nothing but a corruption factory. But not just that, students come out with a bunch of wires loose and that clearly presents a danger to the health and safety of our society.

    Way past time to defund.

    • zuper

      Yes. Universities must crank out obedient workers complicit with the status quo. Astounding that you call protesting corruption, but police officers choking black people to death doesn’t phase you.

      • California Defender

        Universities should produce graduates who moderate themselves with rational and balanced thought.

        Sadly, Berkeley has conditioned most students to take a narrow one-sided view which leads to a herd-mentality that blindly charges at delusional fantasies of oppression.

        • zuper

          Perhaps a similar herd mentality has conditioned you and left you incapable of recognizing oppressive tendencies within society? Especially the kind which might not directly pertain to your own oppression.

          How do *you* define rational and balanced?

          • California Defender

            I define rational and balanced the same way the dictionary does.

            I do recognize oppression where it exists and there is a lot of it in the US which is mostly directed at ALL Americans who are not millionaires.

            The Ferguson incident has nothing to do with oppression. It is just an excuse for overprivileged, undereducated students in Berkeley to physically express the violent insanity that roils in their heads.

  • Gene Nelson

    Wow. That’s interesting. The writer says protesters “allegedly” broke windows, but then says other protestors tried to stop them from breaking windows. Pick a perspective and stay with it.

  • zuper

    Now I know why the comment section here is usually dead, why bother posting when you get censored for no good reason. The student newspaper of the school that was so influential during the free speech movement picks and chooses who’s voice is worth hearing.

    • Gene Nelson

      If you’re read these comment sections, then you know there are many comments which deserve deletion. Free speech doesn’t mean yelling fire in a crowded auditorium and doesn’t mean you get to spew any hate you want to toss out here.

    • peepsqueek

      This post has been censored six times: Where is the balanced scale for Officer Wilson? Using a balanced scale in the Michael Brown case, the things that gave credibility to Officer Wilson, is that working in an area that has violent crime above the national average, Officer Wilson had never once pulled his gun in the line of duty, which supports the defense that he was not over reacting.

      Then, why would Officer Wilson, who was preparing to get married and have a child, an Officer who has never once fired his gun in the line of duty, choose that time and place, in broad daylight, in front of numerous witnesses, to murder a young man?

      The thing that bothered me the most is how people could buy into the idea that a professional police officer would aggress a suspect through his police car window, when the suspect is 6’4″ and 300lbs, giving the suspect both the tactical and physical advantage. It goes against everything in both training and human nature.

      And last, Michael Brown had only minutes earlier, aggressed a tiny Asian shopkeeper, shoving the man in his throat into a merchandise rack, which shows Michael Brown’s temperament on that given day.

      Given all this, why or even how would a grand jury give the benefit of doubt to Michael Brown? I would like one of the readers to give an academic answer.

  • zuper

    NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE. Until KILLER COPS are off OUR STREETS!

    Solidarity. You’re making us proud Berkeley. When history looks back on this turbulent period, no one will say Cal students were complacent against tyranny. Keep fighting, and don’t let the media distort you, nor let armchair speculators demean you.

    The world is watching,

    • Nunya Beeswax

      The world is indeed watching, and the approval is a lot thinner on the ground than you’re imagining.

      Yeah, let’s put bricks through some local shop windows. That’ll show The Man!

  • Jake Soiffer

    This coverage is so off in too many ways to name. At the very least take out the last bit — I was there at 1:20 yelling mike brown’s name with the crowd.