Black Lives Matter protesters shut down Bay Bridge, paint specific message on road

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- For more than two hours, drivers were stuck on the Bay Bridge Sunday afternoon as Black Lives Matter protesters blocked all lanes of the upper deck, painting "#BLM" in yellow letters on the road.

"Through Black Lives Matter, and every protest we do, we are shedding light on the silent genocide that happening within the United States," says Dayanara Thompson, who was one of more than 20, who were arrested for unlawful assembly.

Most were cited and released a few hours later.

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Thompson says the organizers targeted the Bay Bridge for a very specific reason.

"So the reason that we took over the Bay Bridge today was to prove, and show solidarity, that we need to take the old San Francisco back. We need more education equality, we need more housing equality. We more resources for the homeless community, we need more resources in health care," says Thompson.

Just after 4:30 p.m., protesters parked their cars on the upper deck of the bridge, got out and began to protest.

Soon after, they were met with officers in tactical gear, who began to make arrests. Video shows people in the crowd at times taunting officers, and of at least one officer reaching into the pocket of those arrested, with the officer saying he did so to get the keys of one of the cars parked on the bridge.

One couple was stuck in traffic for two hours as a result. They missed their flight from SFO to Las Vegas.

"In the moment, it was like 'Nooo!' It was a disaster," explains Tyler Terrazas, who lives in Vallejo. "But, I mean with everything going on right now, nothing is really normal. We have each other. We're just kicking it. We are headed back home."

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Venita Swiney, a grandmother, who lives in Oakland, was among those who took part. She understands that passengers were inconvenienced, but says there is lot at stake.

"We can't not doing anything, our kids are dying. Our brothers are dying. Our sisters are dying," says Swiney. "Everybody has to take a stand. We can't continue to let this happen, because it's killing us."

CHP Public Information Officer John Franzen says he respects people's right to protest but demonstrating on the Bay Bridge is not only dangerous for the protesters, but also for the first responders and motorists as well.

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