Today the City of Oakland facilitated marches, demonstrations and protests of various kinds at locations throughout the City. The City of Oakland is committed to facilitating peaceful expressions of free speech rights, and protecting personal safety and property; however we have continuously stated that we will not tolerate destruction or violence.
Today’s strategy focused on swiftly addressing any criminal behavior that would damage property or jeopardize public or officer safety. Officers were able to identify specific individuals in the crowd committing unlawful acts and quickly arrest them so the demonstration could continue peacefully.
Given the anticipated size of the crowd, mutual aid was called early in the day to enhance OPD staffing.
Protests started at 7 am with about 45 people boarding buses heading to ferry stations throughout the Bay Area. Meanwhile, protesters set up a series of marches, pickets and blockades at locations throughout the downtown area. Around 11 am, groups converged in Frank H. Ogawa Plaza before splintering into two groups that headed northbound on Broadway, where some isolated incidents of vandalism occurred.
At about 12:30 this afternoon, a large crowd assembled at 14th and Broadway and some protesters began throwing objects at officers who were attempting to make an arrest. The crowd surrounded the officers and small amounts of gas were deployed on three occasions in limited areas to disperse the specific small groups of people who were committing the violent acts.
As of 2 pm, a crowd of about 400 had assembled at 14th and Broadway and in Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, then headed to Fruitvale to join a permitted march. That march began at 3 pm and grew to about 3,500 people who eventually converged at Frank H. Ogawa Plaza in the early evening. By about 8 pm, most of the crowd had peacefully dispersed; about 300 – 500 people remained.
Starting at about 8:30 pm, OPD issued two dispersal orders to clear the area at 14th and Broadway, 15th and Broadway/Telegraph, and Frank H. Ogawa Plaza. The orders came shortly after OPD had attempted to arrest an individual. A crowd of about 300 people surged forward and began throwing bottles and other objects. Although most of the demonstrators heeded the dispersal order, a group of about 60 people splintered off in about a dozen groups, running through the Plaza and northbound on Telegraph Avenue and Broadway.
OPD’s focus tonight is to keep the groups from reorganizing, and to minimize vandalism and damage to public and private property.
Preliminary Vandalism/Damage Assessment
Following 8:30 pm dispersal orders:
Public Works crews are working to clean up damage and restore the City before daylight. Businesses that were vandalized can download an informational fact sheet from www.oaklandnet.com.