Protests over chokehold decision turn violent – USA TODAY
A protest over the death of Eric Garner turned violent in Berkeley, Calif. on Saturday when masked protesters smashed windows and threw objects at police, authorities said.
Some protesters broke business windows while others implored them to stop the violence, CNN reported.
Officer Jenn Coats, a spokeswoman for the Berkeley Police Department, told the Associated Press that one police officer sustained minor injuries after some of the protesters threw rocks and other projectiles at officers on Saturday evening.
She said several businesses on University Avenue were looted and damaged during the protest.
Coats told CNN about 200 people were taking part in the fourth day of protests in the city after a grand jury decided that a Staten Island, N.Y., police officer would not face charges in the July death of Garner, 43, an asthmatic who died after a apparently being put in a chokehold.
In a videotape of the incident, Garner can be heard saying repeatedly: “I can’t breathe.” The New York Medical Examiner’s Office ruled his death was a homicide.
KCBS reported tear gas and smoke bombs broke up the crowd, while police closed two Bay Area Rapid Transit commuter train stations along the protest route.
There have been no reports of any arrests.
Thousands of people have taken to streets across the U.S since Wednesday in protest at the grand jury’s decision.
Demonstrators staged ‘die-ins’ by lying on the floor of Grand Central Terminal in New York City and at Union Station in Washington on Saturday.
In Seattle, several hundred people marched downtown to police headquarters Saturday. Authorities said a group split off from the main protest and tried to get onto a roadway. Police say some protesters threw rocks at officers who blocked them from entering it. Seven people were arrested.
On Saturday, Garner’s family thanked the thousands of protesters who have taken to the streets.
His mother Gwen Carr said: “It is just so awesome to see how the crowds were out there.
“They are out there. They are standing for my son. My heart is overflowing with joy. It’s just a gracious feeling.”
She told protesters to protest “in peace.”
Contributing: Associated Press