OAKLAND, Calif. (AP/KTVU) - Officials said on Monday the assessment of the damages caused by a small group of demonstrators in Oakland over the weekend is around $200,000.
The protest was held on Saturday in support of racial justice and police reform, but turned violent when a small group of demonstrators wearing helmets and goggles and carrying large signs that doubled as shields set fire to a courthouse, vandalized a police station and shot fireworks at officers, authorities said.
About 700 demonstrators participated in what started as a peaceful march but then some broke from the larger group and smashed windows, spray-painted graffiti and pointed lasers at officers, said Officer Johnna Watson, an Oakland Police Department spokesperson.
Several fires were set in the downtown area, including one at the Alameda County Superior Courthouse that was quickly contained. Demonstrators hurled rocks, ceramic paint-filled balls and frozen water bottles through windows at the courthouse, federal building and police building in a raucous night that was unlike peaceful marches that have taken place in the city in recent weeks, Watson said.
“This was different,” Watson said. “This group of protesters had specific intentions to participate in one way or another — whether that’s carrying backpacks in with clearly very heavy items, and the smaller group would actually be engaged in doing the damage — there is a nexus with all of the attendees.”
Police made several arrests but did not provide details. There were no immediate reports of injuries to protesters or officers or immediate cost estimates of the vandalism, Watson said.