Tags: US | police | protests | California

California Police Prepare for Demonstrations

Tuesday, 09 Dec 2014 10:24 PM

The California Highway Patrol will deploy 80 percent off its available staff to monitor a protest planned for Tuesday night in Berkeley, an official said.

Ernie Sanchez, assistant chief of the CHP's Golden Gate Division, said the agency will also ask the Alameda County district attorney's office to increase bails and charges, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Sanchez said the CHP plans to increase staffing and enforcement on East Bay freeways Tuesday night after a crowd of about 1,500 blocked all lanes of Interstate 80 for more than an hour Monday night in Berkeley.

Protesters blocked traffic on both sides of Interstate 80, while another group stood and sat on train tracks, temporarily forcing an Amtrak train to stop Monday night.

The California Highway Patrol said a large group of demonstrators destroyed highway perimeter fencing, flooded lanes and threw rocks and other objects at officers. It took about an hour and a half to clear the interstate, and no major injuries were reported.

The agency arrested 223 people on suspicion of resisting arrest, obstructing police and other charges, said Ernie Sanchez, assistant chief of the CHP's Golden Gate Division.

A woman stuck in traffic went into labor during the protest, but fire crews were able to get her to a hospital, KPIX-TV reported.

"The CHP respects the public's right to gather and demonstrate, but it needs to be done in a safe manner," Sanchez said. "At this point, they've made their statement and we respect that. Now, we're asking them to stop."

The Berkeley Police Department arrested an additional nine people, including a juvenile, Officer Jennifer Coats said early Tuesday.

The protests started after a grand jury on Nov. 24 declined to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. A New York grand jury on Dec. 3 declined to prosecute a police officer captured on video applying a fatal chokehold on Eric Garner. That decision set off more demonstrations nationwide.

Oakland police have arrested about 200 people since the protests started.

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The California Highway Patrol will deploy 80 percent off its available staff to monitor a protest planned for Tuesday night in Berkeley, an official said.Ernie Sanchez, assistant chief of the CHP's Golden Gate Division, said the agency will also ask the Alameda County...
US, police, protests, California
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2014-24-09
Tuesday, 09 Dec 2014 10:24 PM
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