Eric Garner protests turn violent in Northern California

December 9, 2014

hand upBay Area protests have turned violent, and they led to more than 150 arrests on Monday night as unrest spreads in response to the decision of a New York grand jury not to indict a police officer for allegedly strangling to death a man he was trying to arrest. [Reuters]

On July 17, 43-year-old Eric Garner died after succumbing to injuries sustained during a chokehold placed on him by Officer Daniel Pantaleo. Last week, the Staten Island Grand Jury chose not to indict Pantaleo, which sparked nationwide protests in similar fashion to the announcement of a Missouri grand jury’s decision not to indict an officer in the shooting death of Michael Brown.

In both instances, the man who died was black and the officer involved in the fatality was white. Racially charged protests have since spread rapidly in California, particularly in the Eastern Bay Area.

Protesters in Berkeley stormed onto Interstate 80 Monday night and blocked traffic in both directions. Earlier in the day, dozens of protesters stopped an Amtrak train by lying on the tracks or sitting on a sofa placed in the path of the train.

Most of the more than 150 arrests occurred as a result of demonstrators resisting or obstructing officers.

On Sunday night, protesters in both Berkeley and Oakland threw bottles, rocks and Molotov cocktails at police. Officers responded with rubber bullets, flares and tear gas.

One protester smashed the window of a Radio Shack and looting ensued. Others tried to set fire to police cars.

On Friday, the protests in response to the Missouri and New York grand jury decisions reached San Luis Obispo, although not in violent fashion. A group of about 40 people marched through San Luis Obispo Friday night holding signs and chanting slogans, like “hands up don’t shoot” and “black lives matter too.”

Two days prior, the Tribune published an op-ed penned by San Luis Obispo Police Chief Steve Gesell supporting Officer Darren Wilson, the policeman exonerated in the Missouri case. Gesell’s op-ed criticized those who claim Brown lost his life because of his race and condemned citizens who disrespect the law and law enforcement.

The Tribune published the piece on the same day the New York grand jury announced its decision in the Garner case. Gesell’s op-ed spurred a slew of criticism from San Luis Obispo County residents, while others came to his defense.


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62 Comments

  1. mkaney says:

    Ladies and Gentleman, here is the truth about the “riots” in Berkeley. These pigs, and I call them that because they do not deserve any respect, attack and harass peaceful protestors, and then they wonder why there is violence.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVmyMKtmwU4#t=248

    Watch and learn the reality of what is not being reported in the news.

    (-2) 4 Total Votes - 1 up - 3 down
  2. Citizen says:

    San Luis Obispo County has its own Eric Garner type case–Jay Vestal. Vestal was white and worked for the Templeton Post Office. He was also a member of the Molochs.

    He died of positional asphyxiation after 4 deputies sat on him. He was screaming “I can’t breathe” and then he was silent. When the officers got up off of him, he was dead. http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v03/n1307/a05.html?999
    http://www.thehighroad.org/archive/index.php/t-120130.html

    (4) 4 Total Votes - 4 up - 0 down
    • bobfromsanluis says:

      I remember that incident, at least the reporting on it. It happened under Sheriff Hedges leadership; I hope that Sheriff Parkinson also remembers that incident and has hopefully instituted ongoing training to avoid future problems with deputies being overzealous in the dispatch of their duties.

      (0) 4 Total Votes - 2 up - 2 down
  3. guest says:

    Rioters are just creating an economic wasteland and undermining stability for young families and the elderly.

    (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
    • mkaney says:

      Forget about their concerns, don’t ask if there might be an issue that is so serious to them that they are willing to take out their anger by rioting.. no, instead, just think of yourself and what THEY are doing to poor old YOU. Welcome to America, home of the ME mentality.

      (-2) 8 Total Votes - 3 up - 5 down
      • Myself says:

        Screw those rioters,they have no business pluging up streets and disturbing the peace, no sooner do a bunch of peaceniks gather then rocks or bottles get thrown then some one gets hurt and a bunch of zits go to jail,that seems pretty dumb to me.

        (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
  4. Slowerfaster says:

    The phony ‘protesters’, looters, rioters, criminals and general trouble makers in Berkeley and elsewhere are predominantly younger, WHITE ne’er-do-wells and anarchists.

    THAT is their agenda, NOT societal reform and redress of grievances.

    That we live in a country that is a totalitarian hell for ethnic minorities …fearful of their lives when ordinary, casual meetings occur with police and other ‘authorities’ is a national disgrace.

    This institutional racism and violence directed towards the weaker, the ‘other’, and women also happens with frequency.

    The problem with America is stupid white people.
    They are destroying whatever was true and good concerning the promise of America, but most are too stupid and too selfish to care.

    (-4) 8 Total Votes - 2 up - 6 down
    • guest says:

      “America is stupid white people?” What does this mean? Do you refer to the “Stupid American” low-information Obama supporters that Dr. Gruber refers to?

      Your comment is racist and very intellectually underdeveloped!

      (0) 4 Total Votes - 2 up - 2 down
      • mkaney says:

        No you are just too defensive and self absorbed to try and understand what he’s saying. If anything though, the white anarchist rioters clearly see the BS their elders have created and they see no other way to repair it other than tear it down.

        (-1) 5 Total Votes - 2 up - 3 down
    • mkaney says:

      Their agenda has been redress of grievances, but every promise of improvement is just more of the same veiled in B.S. For example, they look back and see the mistake of Vietnam. The vast majority of people understand now that it was a mistake. The vast majority of people understand now that the public was tricked to gain their support, or at least their complacency, for elevating that war. The vast majority of people understand now the disgusting horrific acts perpetrated on the Vietnamese by Americans… And YET… this country just keeps going down the same path as if “this time” it’s different.

      So when we invaded Iraq, for example, all of the information that “later” came out was already known by many of the protesters. Just because the congress hadn’t addressed these facts and the media hadn’t covered them YET didn’t mean they weren’t known. So they protested and tried to spread the information. And where did that get us? NOWHERE. They elected a President who outright misrepresented himself to be someone who would put a stop to this nonsense, and where did that get us? NOWHERE.

      Many have concluded the system is far too corrupted to reform it, and they may not be wrong.

      (0) 4 Total Votes - 2 up - 2 down
  5. NorthCountyGuy says:

    Unfortunately, the courts are prostitutes of the highest bidders.

    (-1) 3 Total Votes - 1 up - 2 down
  6. indigo1955 says:

    “Gesell’s op-ed criticized those who claim Brown lost his life because of his race and condemned citizens who disrespect the law and law enforcement”.

    We used to call them “pigs” in the 60’s. This alliance of unbalanced and pathological individuals who have control issues have developed a stronghold on society that is like a vice grip. You don’t DARE exercise free speech around these individuals–because they have true power.

    “To serve and protect” is a vacuous and antiquated definition of what we see out there today. I have been subject to police brutality twice in my lifetime, and as a woman it was terrifying. I recently (I am going to be vague here-because it is a small town and these psychopaths with power scare me) was trying to get a simple ordinance defined in SLO and the police officer got closer to my face and said “it is business as usual around here, get it?” Yeah, I get it. As long as you act like a brainless moron with all the intelligence of a cow going down the ramp to the slaughter house, things are fine-but even hint that you want change….and you had better watch your step.

    I am condemned: I don’t respect law enforcement. And for good reason.

    (4) 10 Total Votes - 7 up - 3 down
    • Slowerfaster says:

      Cops today should be required to have a college degree, with at least on year of psychology and other humanities education.
      There should also be a one year probationary period before full time hiring of these prospective ‘professionals’.
      We also need peer review boards consisting of individuals outside of the law enforcement club instead of the foxes guarding other foxes.

      Many, not all, cops come directly from the military where they are trained killers, and the ‘enemies’ are always suspect.

      (1) 3 Total Votes - 2 up - 1 down
      • willieslo says:

        “Cops today should be required to have a college degree, with at least on year of psychology and other humanities education.”

        That has been going on for more than three and half decades, it gets them more money and salary but its back to the SOS.

        (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
  7. Rambunctious says:

    The place to fight the police is in a court room. If you choose to fight them in the streets you will lose and you could die…

    (16) 18 Total Votes - 17 up - 1 down
    • OnTheOtherHand says:

      That would work if the justice system was reliably fair. Unfortunately, some police are not the upstanding, moral, honest representatives of the law that the courts would like them to be.

      (0) 18 Total Votes - 9 up - 9 down
  8. mkaney says:

    What a disgrace that police can’t identify themselves when they come into public forums like some kind of swarm of locusts to influence the comment voting. That despite the fact that the same people tend to belittle statements in online forums. Is this the kind of single minded authoritarian behavior that many of you claimed to defend the country against in the military? If you were so secure in your actions and those of all of your fellow officers, you would try to contribute, intelligently and open mindedly to the discussion, letting reason guide your views. This kind of behavior is the sign of people who knows there is something rotten but have invested far too much ego to risk questioning anything.

    If you don’t understand the point of this comment, don’t worry about it, it’s not intended for you.

    (-5) 23 Total Votes - 9 up - 14 down
    • achillesheal says:

      Sounds a little paranoid. Don’t you think?

      (-3) 7 Total Votes - 2 up - 5 down
      • mkaney says:

        No, I don’t. When you put a comment on a thread that has about 8 comments, and you receive 12 thumbs down in 20 minutes, you know the police union is at work. Go look at any article on this site that has a connection to police and you will see the same thing… an unusual number of comment votes for the number of comments as well as comments from users that you aren’t familiar with. In fact, it’s not just this site it’s all news sites and it’s a well known tactic taught by the police unions.

        (0) 8 Total Votes - 4 up - 4 down
        • achillesheal says:

          For what purpose? I know they troll facebook for pot parties and prostitutes, but thumbs ups and downs on a website is meaningless.

          (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
          • achillesheal says:

            I consider thumbs down a compliment. It means I’ve struck a nerve with someone and pissed them off. Consider it a good thing.

            (-3) 3 Total Votes - 0 up - 3 down
          • mkaney says:

            For the purpose of influencing public perception, however small of an influence it might be. They play every angle possible. If you don’t believe me, I’d be happy to try to dig up some evidence for you if you think it might influence your perspective on how these people are behaving.

            (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down

Comments are closed.