Oakland protesters set fire to courthouse, smash windows Reply

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Associated Press

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — A protest through the streets of downtown Oakland, California, in support of racial justice and police reform turned violent when a small group of demonstrators wearing helmets and goggles and carrying large signs that doubled as shields set fire to a courthouse, vandalized a police station and shot fireworks at officers, authorities said.

About 700 demonstrators participated in what started as a peaceful march Saturday night but then some broke from the larger group and smashed windows, spray-painted graffiti and pointed lasers at officers, said Officer Johnna Watson, an Oakland Police Department spokesperson.

Several fires were set in the downtown area, including one at the Alameda County Superior Courthouse that was quickly contained. Demonstrators hurled rocks, ceramic paint-filled balls and frozen water bottles through windows at the courthouse, federal building and police building in a raucous night that was unlike peaceful marches that have taken place in the city in recent weeks, Watson said.

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