Oakland protest turns destructive, businesses damaged

Saturday, May 2, 2015
Oakland protest turns destructive, businesses damaged
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Friday night protest for Freddie Gray turned violent in the streets of Oakland, leaving some businesses badly damaged.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Friday evening, protests against police brutality began at Frank Ogawa Plaza around 8 p.m. and a march turned violent through the streets of Oakland.

They called it the "Oakland to Baltimore" protest in support of Freddie Gray who died in Baltimore police custody.

The protesters were marching towards the Oakland police headquarters when police in riot gear stopped them at 7th and Broadway. There was a standoff and protesters were yelling at police. Finally, they decided to turn around and walk the other way and that's when a lot of business windows started getting broken.

Some protesters shattered the windows of a downtown Wells Fargo Bank, which has been hit by similar vandalism multiple times in the past during protests. Citibank also had their windows shattered out.

The march continued through the auto mall at Telegraph and 30th and car windows were smashed at the Chevrolet and Honda dealerships. Someone even set a car on fire.

PHOTOS: Cars burned, windows smashed in Oakland protest

There was at least one arrest related to the protest and in total police say there were nine arrests Friday night.

Oakland's First Friday festival was affected. Crowds were enjoying the evening and they gave way to vandals who spray painted graffiti, broke windows and overturned dumpsters there.

After that, one of the scariest moments happened at Telegraph Avenue and 28th where vandals threw a steel divider through the window, while customers were in the restaurant eating.

Shonda Roberts, a KFC employee who lives in the area, told ABC7 News, "Now this is affecting me because this is my job. I work here. I live right up the street. This is my community. So it hurts my feelings that we have people walking around here this ignorant."

You can follow ABC7 News reporter Alan Wang on Twitter here.