Protests shut down North Berkeley BART


The North Berkeley BART station closed around 8 p.m. Saturday evening due to a civil disturbance in the area, BART officials said.

BART officials also closed the downtown Berkeley BART station around 7 p.m.

A peaceful protest of roughly 400 people marching down Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley turned violent in the area of University Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Way, said Berkeley police Officer Jennifer Coats.

Coats said at least one officer sustained minor injuries after demonstrators threw rocks and other projectiles at police.

Berkeley police Officer Byron White said on Twitter that the demonstrators were also releasing gas into the crowd.

Multiple reports on Twitter showed pictures of windows broken at the Trader Joe’s grocery store on University Avenue along with produce crates strewn in the street and wine bottles smashed on the ground.

There were also reports on Twitter of protesters marching near the University Avenue entrance to Interstate Highway 80 in an effort to breach the freeway.

A California Highway Patrol officer said protesters did not make it onto the freeway and only caused temporary delays. As of around 7 p.m., Coats said police had not yet made any arrests in Berkeley and some protesters are continuing to march.

The demonstration started around 5 p.m. this evening in response to a New York grand jury’s decision on Wednesday to not indict a white police officer in the chokehold death of Eric Garner, an unarmed black man.

The protest is one of dozens that have taken place across the Bay Area and the country in the past two weeks, including protests this afternoon in Oakland and San Francisco, against police brutality.

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