Jacob Blake protests: Several arrested after violence erupts, damaging businesses in Oakland over Kenosha shooting

Police reported agitators in the crowds were breaking windows, lighting trash cans on fire while yelling "burn it down."

ByJ.R. Stone, Amy Hollyfield, and Anser Hassan KGO logo
Friday, August 28, 2020
'Agitators' turn Jacob Blake protest violent in Oakland
Several were arrested in Oakland after protests over the police shooting Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin turned violent overnight.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Oakland police say they made several arrests after protests against the police shooting of a black man in Kenosha, Wisconsin turned violent overnight. Authorities say numerous fires were set in Downtown Oakland.

This was in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin. Police reported agitators in the crowds were breaking windows, lighting trash cans on fire while yelling "Burn it down," setting off fireworks, throwing objects, and even trying to set fire to a business on 8th and Broadway. OPD says some turned aggressive towards police, "throwing items and pointing lasers at the officers at 7th and Washington." There were no reports of officer injuries.

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

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

Oakland police were active on Twitter, expressing support for the right to protest but asking crowds to keep it safe and peaceful.

Later in the night they reported fire was set to the Alameda County Superior Courthouse.

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

Video shows graffiti, mostly demanding justice Blake. One painted string of words reads, "Attack the rich in the Oakland Hills."

The Modern Times beer tasting room at 24th and Valdez lost almost every one of its windows.

"When I was walking by I thought oh I didn't know they were open in the morning. Then I saw the broken glass and was like oh. I see what happened. It's really sad," said Juese Wang while out walking her dog Thursday morning.

"I don't think it's the protestors that did this necessarily, right?" Wang said as she looked at the broken glass.

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City Councilmember Noel Gallo doesn't think so. Information he is getting from the police chief is that outsiders are to blame.

"I understand peaceful protests and the message regarding social justice but I do not accept when you are destroying public and private property that is unacceptable," Gallo said.

He marched into city hall first thing Thursday morning ready to call for city leaders to do more.

"There is no excuse. We need to enforce the rules, to protect public property and most of all protect the businesses that we do have," he said.

RELATED: Kenosha, Wisconsin shooting: Father says Jacob Blake, Black man shot by police, is paralyzed

Repair crews had to break more windows at MudLab café and grocery store in Oakland, in order to clean up the windows that were broken during Wednesday night's protest.

"No coffee this morning, unfortunately. Our machines still work, but it's a little hard to have customers coming in with all the broken glass," says MudLab co-owner, Jill Holloway.

Holloway says eight windows were smashed at their shop located on Grand Avenue, during the march through Oakland to protest the shooting of Jacob Blake, an unarmed Black man shot by Wisconsin police on Sunday.

Holloway says she understand the bigger picture- the fight for social justice. But she says such attacks hurt small businesses, many which are minority owned and operated. This clean up with cost MudLab several thousand dollars, plus lost revenue.

"We are a female owned business. My business partner is Black. All the people that work with us are women. We are really trying to be a positive part of the community," says Holloway.

A block way is RJ Martin's office. He is financial advisor at Edwards Jones, which was also had several windows smashed.

WATCH: 'Agitators' turn Jacob Blake protest violent in Oakland

Several were arrested in Oakland after protests over the police shooting Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin turned violent overnight.

"I actually wasn't that upset. If this is what it takes to get everybody in America to love each other, I'm okay with it," explains Martin, who is Black, adding, "I just wish they knew who was behind those windows."

Tina Sturdevant is the officer manager at Edwards Jones. She says the property manager watched the security footage, which shows the protest was peaceful, except for a few who allegedly trailed behind.

"It was small segment of people outside the group that was protesting, that came and did the damage... (who) separated themselves from the group, is what they saw on the cameras," explains Sturdevant.

Martin and Sturdevant staff says these are tough times, but both say refuse to be distracted from the real issue.

"The cleaning, the repairs it a minor inconvenience. The greater conversation needs to be at the protection and what can we do to advance this conversation to keep people safe, and to make sure that Black and brown bodies are safe," says Sturdevant.

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ABC7 News spoke with a supporter of the defund the police movement by zoom, she said these videos of police shooting black men are upsetting and that change needs to happen.

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"I don't know what's worse to watch these videos or watch nothing change as a result of them. We have COVID and we have fires and people are still showing up and putting their feet to the streets and making their voices heard," said Alex Karim, San Francisco.

Protestors say they want to see the police in Wisconsin who shot Blake arrested and held accountable.

Police say they will release a statement later Thursday. Mayor Libby Schaaf's spokesperson referred ABC7 to police when asked for comment.