Demonstrations continue to roil Berkeley

  • Toppled merchandise rests on the floor of a Pak N Save supermarket looted by anti-police protesters on Dec. 9, 2014, in Emeryville, Calif. Several hundred demonstrators marched for the fourth consecutive day with some occupying a freeway and looting at least two stores.
  • Members of the California Highway Patrol form a line on Highway 80 after removing protesters from the highway during a march against the New York City grand jury decision to not indict in the death of Eric Garner in Berkeley, Calif., Dec. 8, 2014. Cities across the United States have seen large protests in recent nights following a grand jury’s decision not to charge an officer in the July death of Garner. An unarmed black father of six, Garner died after police put him in a banned chokehold. 
  • Berkeley police officers in riot gear line up in front of protesters during a demonstration on Dec. 8, 2014 in Berkeley, Calif. Protesters have taken to the streets of Berkeley for a third straight night after a Staten Island, New York grand jury decided last Wednesday not to indict New York City Police Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the chokehold death of Eric Garner.
  • Residents attempt to extinguish a trash fire lit by protesters during a demonstration against the New York City grand jury decision to not indict in the death of Eric Garner in Berkeley, Calif., on Dec. 8, 2014.
  • Protesters line up on the University Avenue overpass as California Highway Patrol Officers block Highway 80 during a protest in response to police killings in Missouri and New York in Berkeley, Calif., Dec. 8, 2014.
  • Protesters rallying against police violence block both directions of Interstate 80 in Berkeley, Calif., on Dec. 8, 2014.
  • Protesters block an Amtrak train in Berkeley, Calif., on Dec. 8, 2014. Hundreds of people marched through Berkeley for a third night, blocking an interstate highway and stopping the train as activists rallied against grand jury decisions not to indict white police officers in the deaths of two unarmed black men.
  • Protesters rallying against police violence raise their hands as police officers try to remove them from a footbridge over Interstate 80 in Berkeley, Calif., on Dec. 8, 2014.
  • A worker replaces shattered glass at a bank building on Shattuck Avenue, in Berkeley, Calif. on Dec. 8, 2014. 
  • Trash bins are seen littered on Shattuck Avenue after a march against the New York City grand jury decision to not indict in the death of Eric Garner turned violent in Berkeley, Calif. on Dec. 7, 2014.
  • Protesters retreat while police officers deploy teargas to disperse a crowd comprised largely of student protesters during a protest against police violence in the U.S., in Berkeley, Calif. on Dec. 7, 2014.
  • Police officers deploy teargas while trying to disperse a crowd comprised largely of student protesters during a protest against police violence in the U.S., in Berkeley, Calif. early Dec. 7, 2014.
  • A protester flees as police officers try to disperse a crowd comprised largely of student demonstrators during a protest against police violence in the U.S., in Berkeley, Calif. early Dec. 7, 2014.
  • Members of the California Highway Patrol form a line on a freeway entrance after protesters ran onto Highway 24 during a march against the New York City grand jury decision to not indict in the death of Eric Garner in Berkeley, Calif. on Dec. 7, 2014.
  • Protesters march against the New York City grand jury decision to not indict in the death of Eric Garner on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley, Calif. on Dec. 7, 2014.

of

Updated

For a week, thousands of protesters nationwide have taken to the streets, demanding a change to policing following recent grand jury decisions not to indict white police officers in the deaths of unarmed black men in Missouri and New York.

In Berkeley, California, demonstrators this week continued to block traffic on major interstates, stopped an Amtrak train in its tracks and shut down a subway station. Marches have turned violent as protesters threw rocks at police, vandalized California Highway Patrol vehicles, jumped on top of police cars and set fires near crowds of people. More than 1,000 demonstrators confronted police outside of their Berkeley headquarters before blocking traffic on a major interstate on Monday night. Authorities have deployed tear gas, a scene similar to those in Ferguson, Missouri, in the weeks following the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9.

Last month, a St. Louis grand jury decided not to indict Wilson in Brown’s death. And last week, a grand jury in New York City decided not to indict a police officer for placing Staten Island man Eric Garner in an apparent chokehold, which led to the man’s death. Garner’s mother on Saturday urged the public to continue protesting.

In Cleveland, the family of 12-year-old Tamir Rice demanded a trial by jury be set for the officer responsible for killing the child last month outside of a recreation center.

Seventy percent of African-Americans said they think the decisions not to indict police officers in the killings of unarmed black men have decreased their confidence in the country’s legal system, according to a recent NBC News/Marist poll. Just 9% said the outcomes have increased their confidence. For white people, the split was smaller: 35% said their confidence has lessened, and 21% said it has risen.

Speak Out