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Vandals And Looters Cause Damage Throughout California

Thomas Hawk
Flickr / Creative Commons
A man cleans up a broken window at a Target in Oakland on May 30, 2020


Cities across California declared curfews, yesterday, to head off more violence. That’s after unruly demonstrators at earlier protests burned police cars, broke into stores and skirmished with officers.

In more than 20 cities, vandals smashed their way into businesses and ran off with as much as they could carry — boxes of sneakers, armloads of clothes and cell phones and TVs.

Nearly 400 people were arrested in Los Angeles from unrest Saturday as protests became increasingly violent over the last several nights because of outrage over the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd.

Violence here in Northern California included an arm wound suffered by a gunshot victim in Walnut Creek.

Most demonstrations began peacefully. About 1,000 people marched through the streets of San Francisco, Saturday, carrying signs and chanting “George Floyd,” and “Black Lives Matter.”

But, later, the Mercury News reported that San Francisco’s popular Union Square saw people stealing leather bags from the Coach store. Streets were littered with bras from Victoria’s Secret and cushioned jewelry boxes from Swarovski.

Mayor London Breed expressed sadness about destruction downtown:

There were unfortunately assaults on people, including police officers. There was vandalism on vehicles, and businesses. There were fires lit. And in watching the videos, I was extremely upset, because unfortunately with some of the vandals, they thought this was a game. They thought this was funny. And this was not funny.

She said she would not tolerate the violence and said the city's 8 p.m. curfew would be extended indefinitely.

Stores in Oakland and Emeryville were also targeted by thieves late Saturday. On Sunday, reports said malls were looted in Fremont, Milpitas, Pleasanton, Pleasant Hill, San Leandro, Santa Clara, and Walnut Creek.

Governor Gavin Newsom deployed 1,000 members of the National Guard to assist the 20,000 officers of the LA police and sheriff’s departments, according to Mayor Eric Garcetti. San Francisco police chief Bill Scott said about 200 outside officers would work in the city.

Ben was hired as Interim Executive Director of KALW in November, 2021.