Protests Unfold In Sacramento Over Wisconsin Police Shooting; Downtown Buildings Vandalized
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The latest on the protests in Sacramento over the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
11:40 p.m. Update — No Arrests Made, Demonstrators Disperse
After a destructive group of demonstrators made their way through Downtown Sacramento, most people cleared out of the area by 11 p.m.
Sacramento Police said no arrests were made Thursday night, but detectives will be following up on reports of vandalism. Law enforcement is expected to remain Downtown through the night.
Demonstrators broke windows, spray-painted government buildings and set fires as they walked through the Downtown area from Cesar Chavez Plaza to the Capitol and back. It appears the vandals mostly hit government buildings including the Sacramento County District Attorney's office and a sheriff's building.
Some of the protesters in the group said city officials and police are putting property before people, which is why they damaged property tonight.
The crowds Thursday night had a much different tone than protesters in the early evening who peacefully marched from Cesar Chavez Plaza to the Capitol before dispersing around 7 p.m.
Demonstrators from the later group said they will be back Friday night.
10:50 p.m. Update — Most Demonstrators Clear Out Of Cesar Chavez Plaza
10:30 p.m. Update — Crowds Walk Back To Cesar Chavez Plaza
9:54 p.m. Update — Crowds Move To State Capitol
Some groups have moved to the California State Capitol, where California Highway Patrol officers are standing guard. Fences are up, keeping crowds from coming on to the capitol grounds.
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9:46 p.m. Update: Law Enforcement Standing Guard At City Hall
Crowds have moved back toward Cesar Chavez Plaza as police in riot gear stand guard in front of Sacramento City Hall.
Sacramento Police report that some subjects set a fire at the District Attorney's Office. The fire has since been extinguished.
9:30 p.m. Update: Some Fires Started In Sacramento Streets
A group of people started a fire in the street, lighting cardboard that was quickly extinguished by Sacramento police dressed in riot gear.
Some crowds have also moved to the District Attorney's office, smashing windows and vandalizing the sign out front with anti-police messages. There were also reports of a fire.
9:15 p.m. Update: Vandals Tag Sacramento Sheriff's Building
Some protesters have begun vandalizing Sacramento County Sheriff's property, smashing windows and spray painting signs.
9 p.m. Update — New Group Of Protesters Marching From Cesar Chavez Plaza
After gathering in Cesar Chavez Plaza for about an hour, a new group of protesters started marching in downtown Sacramento.
The group marched in front of Sacramento City Hall chanting, "No Justice, No Peace." Protesters are largely dressed in black with their faces covered.
As the group began to march, Sacramento police tweeted that there is a heavy law enforcement presence downtown. Officers are shutting down streets, impacting traffic.
About an hour earlier, police noted that approximately 150 people gathered in dark clothing, helmets and body armor.
7:30 p.m. Update — Protesters Confront Mayor Steinberg
Protesters interrupted Mayor Steinberg's dinner Thursday evening near Cesar Chavez Park, calling for significant police reform while telling the mayor that until changes are made, "your citizens won't have any word for you."
After meeting in Cesar Chavez Plaza around 5:30 p.m. and listening to speeches, the protesters walked toward the state capitol yelling "Black Lives Matter" and "Jacob Blake."
A second protest is scheduled to start around 8 p.m. in Cesar Chavez Plaza.
6 p.m. Update — Two Protests Planned Tuesday Night
Two groups are planning protests in Sacramento Thursday over the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The later protest has police and downtown businesses preparing for possible violence.
The first protest, scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at Cesar Chavez Plaza, was organized by Justice Unites Individuals and Communities Everywhere. Organizers tell CBS13 their protest will be entirely peaceful.
The later protest, promoted by Antifa Sacramento, is set to take place at Cesar Chavez Plaza at 8 p.m. In a Facebook post, the "Solidarity With Kenosha" demonstration calls for protesters to "mask up, wear black, don't snitch, no good cops, no peace police."
Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg acknowledged both protests Thursday afternoon and asked for peace. Steinberg said he supports "principled protest" but has an issue with the "second after dark protest."
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"Vandalizing or destroying Sacramento's businesses is not principled protest. These hard-working business owners, many from our diverse communities, are struggling to serve our community during the Covid pandemic. Targeting them is cruel and doesn't recognize the humanity of those who have poured the lives and their savings into enlivening our downtown and our neighborhoods," Steinberg wrote.
Sacramento police told CBS13 they will have additional units in the downtown area Thursday evening. Several CHP officers were also seen in the area of Cesar Chavez Plaza as protests began. Police shut down some roads downtown as protesters marched through the streets, impacting traffic in the area.
The Sacramento County Sheriff's Department alerted businesses about the protests Thursday afternoon, warning businesses owners to be aware and "have safety measures in place."
Several businesses along J Street boarded their doors and windows, making sure nothing can get through. Some businesses told CBS13 they are nervous moving forward into the evening hours and worried their storefronts could be vandalized. It's something they can't afford as they're already struggling amid a pandemic.
Some of these businesses say they actually respect the protestors and support their cause. They just hope protestors will respect them too.
"Don't do it. Please don't do it. Like I said, this is peoples livelihood. This is Sacramento. People are from here, they love this city. People who are from here don't do that kind of stuff," Hugo Cervantes, an employee at a downtown business, said. "I'm all with the protesting, but that makes no sense. And it's not right."
In anticipation of the protests, Sacramento Regional Transit plans to suspended light rail, bus and SmaRT Ride service in downtown Sacramento area around 7:30 p.m.
On Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, there were smaller demonstrations protesting the shooting of Blake.
Demonstrators demanded justice for Blake in Wisconsin and major police reform locally.
"The Black community right now is in suffrage. Because this is traumatic for all of us. We never know who's going to be next. We have a fear of just everyday life that we shouldn't have to have, so there has to be changes within the police force," Leia Schenk, founder of EMPACT, said.
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