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Riots in US after police shooting

January 8th, 2009 · post by Fred Goodsell · Make a comment

Riots broke out in Oakland, USA after a police officer shot and killed a 22 year old man, Oscar Grant, on a station platform.

Witnesses report that Grant was “lying on his stomach with his hands out in a non-threatening position when he was shot”. Police proceeded to confiscate several cell phones from people on the platform who said they had used the phones’ cameras to record what happened. For the first two days after the event officials told the media that surveillance cameras at the station do not record, but then corrected themselves Friday night saying the cameras did record but didn’t show the incident.

On the 7th January 2009, over 1000 people gathered to protest the shooting.

The report below is from www.indybay.org

“Hundreds of protesters marched up International Blvd towards downtown Oakland. As the crowd passed the Lake Merritt BART area, there was a brief confrontation where a police car was attacked and a dumpster lit on fire. Shortly thereafter, riot police arrived and shot tear gas into the crowd. The protest continued into the night as dozens of protesters took over and blocked the intersection of 14th and Broadway for over an hour, with chants of “We are Oscar Grant.” A line of riot police then moved in to push the crowd out of the intersection and down 14th Street toward Lake Merritt. The protesters obliged by running down 14th where dozens of car windows were then broken and a minivan was set on fire. The police then charged the group a few blocks later, and as protesters dispersed, windows were broken at a McDonald’s.

About 9pm, Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums appeared towards the Lake Merritt end of 14th Street and began walking towards Broadway looking at the damage. People confronted him regarding the BART officer still not having been detained or even questioned one week later. Once Dellums, and the growing crowd following him, arrived at City Hall in Frank Ogawa Plaza, he addressed the crowd of 200 protesters from the steps of City Hall. He told the crowd to be respectful. He said the killing was an obvious homicide and that he had ordered the City of Oakland to investigate the BART killing. The crowd interrupted much of his speech, expressing their displeasure with the situation.

As Dellums finished talking to the crowd and headed into City Hall, people starting booing and then many people chanted “Round 2″ and rushed toward San Pablo Ave. breaking more car windows. Tear gas was again fired by police. Protesters then moved towards Lake Merritt down 17th Street. More windows were smashed and more dumpsters were set on fire. Another car was burned. At about 10pm, police in gas masks in police cars swooped in on protesters at 17th and Jackson. At that point, the crowd of protesters split up again and headed in several different directions. After a sizable crowd began to reconvene at 15th and Broadway, many headed up Telegraph, pulling objects into the road and breaking more windows. Just before 11pm, around 50 people were surrounded by police across from the Paramount Theater on Broadway. Many protesters lay down on the ground as police moved in to arrest them.”

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