Qing Huang / The Advocate
OAKLAND — Thousands of Bay Area residents marched through downtown to protest police officers who use excessive force and are not held accountable by the law.
“I don’t plan to stop (protesting),” Oakland native Evelyn Carmack said. “This is not just about Michael Brown — these injustices happen everyday and we are sick of it.”
People flooded the streets Tuesday due to officer Darren Wilson escaping indictment for the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
Protesters were stopped from using the on and off ramps to get onto the 580 freeway by Oakland Police Department officers at seperate locations twice until they made one of their own.
Before the march, protesters gathered near Frank H. Ogawa Plaza on the corner 14th and Broadway at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
A row of officers started to push the group south.
People marching in the protest held up signs as they chanted to the beat of drums beneath circling helicopters and emergency lights.
Obi Santos was at the head of the group . Santos held the megaphone to his mouth and said, “Indict, convict, send those killer cops to jail.”
The mass of protesters responded with, “The whole damn system is guilty as hell.”
Protesters were followed by police through the downtown streets and where momentarily contained by lines of officers on Franklin Street between 7th and 8th Street.
Only a block away from the freeway on-ramp.
Ronald Langford was part of the crowd that was halted within 50 feet of his house on Franklin Street.
On the front steps of his house, Langford said, “I feel so positive about all of this. I’m glad to see my fellow Oakland residents speaking out and fighting against this injustice. I’m very proud of my city.”
Oakland police managed to stop the mass of protesters again at the African American Museum and Library near Martin Luther King Ave. at 7:53 p.m
When the march spilled onto Telegraph, moving toward Berkeley, the smell of spray paint, the sound of breaking glass and fireworks masked the smell of sage and “Hands up. Don’t shoot” chant.
Alameda resident Jessica Kiyomi yelled at a masked man who stabbed the tire of a Crown Victoria — the standard model police car — and busted out its windows.
Kiyomi did not know that it was an undercover police squad car when she said, “Stop! We are trying to protect Oakland, not fuck up our city.”
At 8:55 p.m., the mostly peaceful march became unruly when a hole in a chainlink fence on the side of a Walgreens on Telegraph and 34th Street was discovered by one of the protesters.
People rushed the chainlink fence, bringing sections of it to the ground, and trudged up the muddy hill onto the I-580 freeway where they brought traffic to a halt.
At 9 p.m. at the Walgreens, a few of the protesters smashed in the front door, windows while customers were inside.
Someone nearby yelled “police” and the group of masked protesters dispersed.
“I understand that people are angry,” Oakland resident Nicole Salois said after witnessing the incident.
“It’s one thing to throw a trash can through an empty Starbucks, but when there are women and children standing in line while it happens, it takes it to a whole other level.”
Salois, said that “white anarchists” make up the majority those who are taking advantage of the peaceful protest to cater to their own agenda.
”These people are causing the problems and Oakland is left to take the wrap for it,” she said.