Officials Blame Sacramento Antifa For Vandalism After Jacob Blake Protest, Call In National Guard
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — As they prepare for more planned protests on Friday, authorities are vowing to stop and prosecute the people behind the unrest that took place in Downtown Sacramento on Thursday night after demonstrations over the police shooting of Wisconsin man Jacob Blake.
Crews were boarding up windows and cleaning up broken glass outside the Sacramento County district attorney's office overnight.
Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert had harsh words for the group who appeared to be behind the destruction.
"The Sacramento District Attorney's Office was targeted last night by a domestic terrorist and anarchist organization - Sacramento Antifa. This attack was planned," Schubert wrote in a statement on Friday.
"These anarchists have waged attacks across this country, in major urban cities, including Portland, Seattle and Denver. Their tactics are rooted in organized violence and terror," Schubert continued.
Now, a fence is put up to keep those who are planning destruction, out.
The building was one of the hardest hit during Thursday night's demonstrations. Sacramento police say the crowd dispersed around 11 p.m. - but not before causing significant damage throughout downtown.
What started as a peaceful protest Thursday, organized by local group J.U.I.C.E. Sacramento, turned destructive when a second group of people in riot gear started setting fire to government buildings, including the district attorney's office.
Demonstrators broke windows, spray-painted government buildings and set fires as they walked from Cesar Chavez Plaza to the State Capitol building and back.
It appears the vandals mostly hit government buildings, including a sheriff's building.
Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones said his department had reached out to the California Office of Emergency Services and has requested help from the National Guard.
"It's been one day and I'm already over it," Jones said at a Friday press conference where he too excoriated Antifa for the destruction.
The District Attorney's Office released video Friday, asking the community to identify those responsible in the video.
"Expect to be treated according to your conduct," said Sheriff Jones.
So how do city leaders feel about the vandalism and destruction in the city?
Sacramento City Councilmember Angelique Ashby said she is proud of the peaceful protests, but said what happened after takes away from the first group's messages.
"I hope folks don't lean towards destruction and chaos. I don't think its necessary, and I don't think it makes the point they want to make I think were better than that," Ashby said.
J.U.I.C.E. held the peaceful march through downtown on Thursday. While marching towards the State Capitol, the group ran into Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, who was having dinner nearby.
"You say one thing, but your actions and then when you go behind closed doors is something totally different," Nehemiah Johnson from J.U.I.C.E. was heard telling Steinberg.
"That's not true," Steinberg replied.
Earlier in the day, the mayor released a statement saying the city was expecting two protests on Thursday. He pleaded with demonstrators to not vandalize or destroy Sacramento businesses.
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"My reaction is that I have great respect for people who are willing to come out to the streets peacefully," Steinberg said.
Those with J.U.I.C.E. said they won't protest by breaking windows or instigating violence.
"We have our way that we feel like is going to be the most effective, but we certainly don't judge anybody else's way," said Meg White, with J.U.I.C.E.
Police said no arrests were made on Thursday night, but detectives will be following up on reports of vandalism.
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