No arrests made after Andy Lopez protesters blocked portion of freeway

Bay City News
Monday, July 14, 2014
Andy Lopez protests

SANTA ROSA, Calif. -- No arrests have been made in Saturday's protests that blocked off several streets in Santa Rosa, including a portion of Highway 101.

The rally that started at 1 p.m. in Old Courthouse Square and a march through the downtown that started around 3:30 p.m. was peaceful until more than a dozen of the 100 protesters marched up the Third Street off-ramp of northbound U.S. Highway 101 and onto the highway where they blocked traffic around 4:30 p.m.

The California Highway Patrol staged three patrol cars and a motorcycle about 50 yards south of the protesters in the northbound lanes. When CHP officers walked toward the protesters on the highway, the group moved back down the off-ramp. They were met at the base of the ramp by at least two-dozen Santa Rosa police officers with several dozen more staged nearby.

During a standoff at the base of the off-ramp the protesters chanted "The Whole World is Watching," and one protester briefly lay down on the off-ramp before the protesters marched to the nearby Santa Rosa Plaza around 4:50 p.m.

Many of those who attended the rally and the march against officer-involved shootings and what they called "militarized" police agencies were from the East Bay. Some were members of and The Revolutionary Club of the Bay Area.

The large crowd was protesting the Sonoma County District Attorney's decision to not hold Sheriff's Deputy Erick Gelhaus criminally responsible for shooting and killing 13-year-old Andy Lopez.

The teen was carrying an Airsoft pellet gun that Gelhaus mistook for an AK-47 assault rifle.

ABC7 News contributed to this story.