Demonstrations in Oakland 'differentiating themselves,' police chief says as some protest peacefully, others cause harm

"What happens after dark, frankly, is another matter," she said.

ByKayla Galloway KGO logo
Friday, September 4, 2020
Oakland police chief talks protests, rise in crime, use of force
Oakland's police chief said the department is seeing a difference between peaceful demonstrators and those with intent to cause destruction in the city. "What happens after dark, frankly, is another matter," she said.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- As the U.S. grapples with police brutality and civil unrest, Oakland's interim police chief says say "this is one of the more transformational moments" in her 37 years of policing.

Chief Susan Manheimer joined ABC7 Thursday to discuss the demonstrations seen in Oakland in recent months in light of the death of George Floyd and the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

She said there is a clear difference between the peaceful demonstrators in Oakland and those with an intent to harm.

"What we're seeing now is the demonstrations are differentiating themselves," she said.

RELATED: Jacob Blake protest: Crowds yell 'burn it down' while lighting fires, breaking windows in Oakland, police say

Manheimer said demonstrators with intent to cause harm in Oakland are policed differently than the other demonstrators, whose demonstrations don't need to be facilitated, she said.

"What happens after dark, frankly, is another matter," Manheimer said.

WATCH: Crowds take to Oakland streets in protest of Jacob Blake shooting

Protests are underway in Oakland over the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin. Police say some people are breaking windows and starting fires.

Amid protests in Oakland, the Federal Building, downtown areas and other civic buildings were damaged.

Just last week, police officers had rocks and bottles thrown at them during demonstrations, the chief said.

Manheimer said that is "very troubling" to her.

Last week, the police department said on Twitter that the crowds were "violent, destructive and displayed hostility."

Twenty-four, mostly non-Oakland residents, were arrested, the department said.

During Thursday's interview, the police chief also discussed a rise in crime in Oakland during the second quarter of the year.

Between March and June, Oakland saw 23 homicides, up from 11 during the first three months of the year.

Assault cases with firearms also drastically increased with 114 in the second quarter, compared to 69 in the first three months of the year.

RELATED: 17-year-old in custody, accused of shooting 3 people, killing 2 during Kenosha protest

Manheimer said, "we are just really troubled by this."

The rise in crime during the COVID-19 pandemic comes on the heels of a five-year decrease in Oakland.

The upward trend seen this year is something being seen in other major cities across the U.S., the police chief said.

Watch the full interview with Oakland's police chief above.

WATCH: ABC7 Listens 'Allies in Action: A Bay Area Conversation'

Watch ABC7's hour-long discussion about the importance of allyship in our communities, "Allies in Action: A Bay Area Conversation."