Another protest that began peacefully over the death of George Floyd has taken a turn as some people broke in and looted through the downtown Walnut Creek retail district. The city issued an immediate and mandatory curfew at 6 p.m.
Despite attempts to board up storefronts, footage shows looting at Macy’s H&M, Lululemon, Vans and Urban Outfitters, among other shops in the area.
BART officials also announced just after 6 p.m. that the Walnut Creek station was closed due to “civil disturbance.”
Several protests over the course of the past week have erupted in violence and destruction, but notably after day-long peaceful gatherings. People across the nation have been moved to take to the streets to express anger and frustration with the killing of yet another unarmed black man.
Floyd, 46, died after a former Minneapolis officer knelt on his neck for several minutes as he repeatedly said he couldn’t breathe and called for his mother. Floyd was detained, handcuffed and face down on the ground, because a grocery store employee believed he was attempting to use a counterfeit $20 bill while shopping.
The police department insinuated that Floyd resisted arrest, though surveillance footage has not yet supported that claim. In fact, one cellphone video depicts three officers kneeling on Floyd at one point during the ordeal. He was pronounced dead at hospital shortly after.
Derek Chauvin, the officer shown kneeling on his neck, has since been terminated, arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
Despite good intentions of most protesters who have gathered since Floyd’s death Monday, several gatherings have turned into extreme shows of civil disobedience with fires lit, vehicles stolen or destroyed, windows smashed and stores raided by looters.
Looting at Best Buy in neighboring Pleasant Hill was also reported around 6:40 p.m.
Protests in Oakland Friday led to a chaotic night of fires, damaged property and injuries. Saturday in San Francisco also saw Molotov cocktails thrown at structures and officers, vandalism and the arrest of several people, including a large number of juveniles, according to the police chief.
Walnut Creek city officials ordered businesses closed and people off the streets at 6 p.m.