Were authorities caught off guard by Bay Bridge protest? SF sheriff weighs in

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Thursday, November 16, 2023
Were authorities caught off guard by Bay Bridge protest?
Were authorities caught off guard by the Bay Bridge protest? San Francisco Sheriff Paul Miyamoto claims they weren't despite hours-long closure.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Hundreds of protesters calling for a cease-fire in a war between Israel and Hamas were able to shut down the western span of the Bay Bridge on Thursday despite measures put in place to avoid incidents like this.

ABC7 News spoke to San Francisco Sheriff Paul Miyamoto and Caltrans spokesperson Bart Ney on how this was able to happen and if authorities were caught off guard.

VIDEO: Dozens of protesters arrested after abandoning cars, blocking westbound Bay Bridge, CHP says

Protesters have been arrested and cars have been towed after they blocked all westbound lanes of the Bay Bridge Thursday morning.

"It wasn't that we were caught off guard, we just anticipated ahead of time that there would be large-scale disruptions at some point in our city and county," Sheriff Miyamoto said.

He went on to commend CHP's response to the protest saying officers were immediately on scene but traffic was snarled for hours as authorities worked to detain demonstrators.

In total, 81 protesters were arrested and 29 vehicles were towed after demonstrators blocked all lanes on the upper deck, with some drivers tossing their keys into the bay. Sheriff Miyamoto said one person was booked into county jail but the others were cited and released.

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