Oakland Protests Turn Violent As Some Demonstrators Smash Windows, Set Fires

A protest in Oakland, California turned violent on Friday night, with some demonstrators smashing storefronts and one local car dealership suffering fire damage.

Hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets to protest against the death of 20-year-old Daunte Wright, who was shot and killed by Minnesota police officer Kim Potter on Sunday during a traffic stop. Potter has been charged with second-degree manslaughter.

Friday's protest was mostly peaceful, according to ABC7 News, but a small number of demonstrators smashed windows of some local businesses, while at least one vehicle was set on fire in the showroom of a Honda dealership in the 3300 block of the city's Broadway area.

The protest began at Oakland's Frank Ogawa Plaza, near Oakland City Hall, where some demonstrators addressed the crowd before they marched down 14th Street.

Protesters moved through the streets of downtown Oakland and headed east along Broadway Auto Row.

Some demonstrators smashed the windows of businesses including Target and Oaklandish, while a separate group set fire to the car at the Honda dealership. Other small fires were also lit outside several buildings.

Police declared an unlawful assembly and threatened to arrest anyone refusing to leave the area of the protest, according to CBSN Bay Area. No arrests had been reported at the time of writing.

Many business owners in the downtown area opted to board up their stores in anticipation of protests over the weekend, according to journalist Melissa Colorado of NBC Bay Area.

"Boarded up again," Colorado said on Twitter before Friday's protest. "Multiple businesses in downtown #Oakland have opted to board up their windows & doors, in the event of any potential demonstrations this weekend for #DaunteWright & #AdamToledo. OPD [Oakland Police Department] HQ is also blocked off & surrounded by barricades."

Boarded up again.
Multiple businesses in downtown #Oakland have opted to board up their windows & doors, in the event of any potential demonstrations this weekend for #DaunteWright & #AdamToledo. OPD HQ is also blocked off & surrounded by barricades. @nbcbayarea pic.twitter.com/8M3CuYBild

— Melissa Colorado (@melissacolorado) April 16, 2021

Noel Gallo, a member of Oakland Council, spoke to ABC7 News about local storeowners' decision to board up their properties in advance of the protest on Friday.

"I understand the people's frustrations...the only thing that I would ask is to respect the properties," Gallo said.

The protest followed the death of Wright and the release on Thursday of bodycam footage showing the shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo by a police officer in Chicago. The video appeared to show that Toledo was not holding a weapon at the time, though this is disputed.

Protesters were still in the streets of Oakland at the time of writing, according to a tweet from East Bay Times journalist Dylan Bouscher and shared by NBC Bay Area's Melissa Colorado. Police were reportedly allowing demonstrators to disperse on groups of 10 or 15.

Newsweek has asked the Oakland Police Department for a statement.

An Atlanta Demonstration for Daunte Wright
Demonstrators march to the National Center for Civil and Human Rights while protesting the shooting death of Daunte Wright on April 14, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. A protest in Oakland, California on Friday was mostly peaceful with some violent incidents. Megan Varner/Getty Images