New: Oakland: 25 Arrested in Yesterday's Protests

By Bay City News
Wednesday May 02, 2012 - 09:07:00 AM

Oakland police are maintaining a presence in downtown Oakland early this morning to prevent protesters from regrouping after a day of scattered protests throughout the city, police said. 

Police said a total of at least 25 protesters were arrested Tuesday, including one arrest for suspicion of assaulting a police officer and two arson suspects, including for a burning a police vehicle. 

The police vehicle was set on fire in the 1300 block of Franklin Street sometime after 8:30 p.m., when police ordered demonstrators near 14th Street and Broadway to disperse, police said. 

That crowd composed of demonstrators who remained in Frank Ogawa Plaza after arriving with a march of around 3,500 from Fruitvale. By around 8 p.m., between 300 and 500 protesters remained in the plaza, police said. 

Shortly after police attempted to arrest an individual at around 8:30 p.m., the crowd became confrontational, with some throwing rocks and bottles at officers, police said. 

Police gave an order to disperse, and while most protesters obeyed, a group of around 60 splintered off running through downtown Oakland, police said. 

In addition to the burned police car, police said after 8:30 p.m. there were reports of a fire at 19th Street and Broadway, windows broken at the Wells Fargo Bank at 20th and Franklin streets, and another car on fire in Frank Ogawa Plaza. 

Earlier in the day minor vandalism at the Bank of America at the Kaiser Center and at Bank of the West at 2127 Broadway was reported, an Oakland police van had its windows broken, and a news van had its tires punctured, police said. 

By 7 p.m. at least 10 protesters had already been arrested, according to police Sgt. Jeff Thomason. 

Police Chief Howard Jordan said earlier today that those demonstrators were arrested for offenses ranging from vandalism to resisting arrest. 

Several people were arrested in a confrontation between police and protesters near 14th Street and Broadway shortly after noon today. 

Jordan said the confrontation began when protesters started throwing objects at officers who were trying to make arrests and disperse the crowd.  

Officers then "deployed a small amount of gas" to disperse the crowd, Jordan said. He did not specify whether it was tear gas.  

He said Oakland police called in mutual aid at 9 a.m. because they observed that there were "multiple, simultaneous events" that were stretching the department's resources thin.  

The agencies providing the aid include the Hayward, Fremont, Union City and Newark police departments, the California Highway Patrol and the Alameda County Sheriff's Office.