West Coast reacts to Ferguson
December 4, 2014
After the Missouri grand jury found no cause to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, protesters swarmed the streets of Oakland and Los Angeles this past week.
Last Monday, thousands of protesters gathered throughout the downtown area to demonstrate against the verdict against Mike Brown. Amongst the actions taken by the protestors was burning trashcans and rioting in the streets.
Phrases like “No justice. No peace. No racist police,” were shouted along with “Shut it down for Michael Brown.”
Along with blocking off interstate 880, protestors laid down in intersections to block traffic.
Skateboarders and bikers filled the streets along with the protestors, causing a chaotic situation for Oakland police to contain.
No justice. No peace. No racist police.”
— Unknown protestor
Oakland Police Chief Sean Whent told NBC Bay Area 169 protestors were arrested in 3 days last week. Of the arrests, he said, 48 percent were Oakland residents formisdemeanor crimes.
The remaining charges included vandalism, burglary, and one arrest for battery of a police officer, and one for arson.
Protesters managed to shut down BART for nearly two hours this past Friday, linking themselves into chains, as reported by ABC News 7. There were 14 demonstrators, who eventually were cuffed and taken by BART police. Of those arrested, the charged included interfering with the operation of the train, as well as trespassing.
Meanwhile in Los Angeles, an unlawful assembly marched down the freeways of Los Angeles, with people laying across the highway and others going against traffic forcing the shutdown of the 101 freeway in downtown the night before Thanksgiving.
Chants of “Whose streets, our streets” attempted to make drivers leave their vehicles to join the rally. The protesters stampeded down with their picket signs against police brutality, shouting for justice for the brutal killing of Michael Brown.
Police officers arrived and swayed the protesters to move off the freeways back into the streets, and blocked roads leading to the freeway causing a stand off. “Let me walk through, what are you gonna do beat me?” a woman in the front of the crowd demanded to stonewalled officers.
Screams of warnings and swears spewed as protesters tried to ran across streets and into alleyways in retaliation to make it back to the 101 freeway causing a riot.
The rioters whipped out their cell phones ready to record as police started arresting people for becoming violent shouting “This is for our safety.”
Hundreds of others marched and bicycled down Grand Avenue in Los Angeles chanting “Hands up, Don’t shoot” or “No Justice, No Peace.” Some protesters surrounded police cars and jumped onto them; at one point a police officer was struck on the head with a frozen water bottle.
At least 130 protesters were detained in Los Angeles for refusing to disperse according to CBS LA.
“We want to make sure everybody knows that we absolutely support the First Amendment, we support people’s right to assemble and to lawfully speak out on issues that are a great concern to them,” LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said during a news conference Tuesday.
Beck said most of the arrests made would result in a misdemeanor charge, with bail set at $500.”We cannot support and we will not allow people to use their rights to trample on the rights of others.”