Protesters dance in street, stay out past curfew with few problems, police say
OAKLAND, Calif. - A night of dancing in the streets and protesting past curfew in Oakland and San Francisco ended peacefully and without any major problems, police in both cities said.
For the sixth day in a row, Oakland was the site of large demonstrations and hundreds stayed out in the street near the police department to demand an end to systemic racism. A total of 8,000 people met in from of City Hall. Police said the demonstration ended at about 10 p.m. The interim police chief said they let the rally go on past curfew in order to be flexible, and that the crowd remained cooperative. Police said there was only one arrest, no citations, and no reports of violence, looting or physical damage.
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“Oakland has a long history of organized, civil protest without violence and chaos. We are pleased that last night was another example," Interim Police Chief Susan Manheimer said in a statement.
The Oakland Police Department has come under increasing scrutiny as officers deployed tear gas on crowds on Friday and Saturday. Civil rights attorneys say they violated a court order and their own city code.
Police have countered that they needed to engage in these crowd-control tactics because of "violent agitators" who set fires and destroyed businesses, along with throwing rocks and bottles at police.
Across the bay, the protests in San Francisco also went past the city's 8 p.m. curfew, but like Oakland, the demonstration, with an estimated 10,000 people, ended peacefully. There were 23 arrests stemming from one incident in the 2400 block of Mission Street, police said.
"What I want to see is what happens after this moment," said a young woman. "I want to see the continued engagement of allies to dismantle this system that is disproportionately killing us."
The San Francisco demonstration began late Wednesday afternoon, as people of all ages, backgrounds, and ethnicities, gathered at Mission High School.
They rallied and marched for hours, eventually ending up at the Hall of Justice on Bryant Street.
KTVU's Lisa Fernandez contributed to this report.