Oakland protesters block freeways, break windows in second night of Ferguson protests

AP Photo/Noah BergerA man leaves a looted T-Mobile store in Oakland

OAKLAND — Demonstrators vandalized businesses and blocked freeways in Oakland while Los Angeles police arrested 150 people for failing to disperse during a second night of protests spawned by a Missouri grand jury's refusal to indict a white police officer in the shooting of a young black man.

Los Angeles protesters also stormed a downtown freeway Tuesday evening, while in San Diego, protesters disrupted Interstate 5 traffic early Wednesday.

Violence, however, was largely confined to Oakland, where protesters Tuesday night smashed windows at cellphone stores, luxury car dealerships, restaurants and convenience stores.

Protesters briefly closed Interstates 580 and 980, but Oakland police officers in riot helmets were able to clear them from traffic lanes.

The group carrying banners and signs then marched through downtown streets with police motorcycles and patrol cars trailing closely behind, their emergency lights flashing.

The protesters, some wearing bandanas over their faces, spray-painted messages against police. They then started several fires across Telegraph Avenue and began breaking windows in businesses nearby. A least two businesses — a cellphone store and a paint shop — were looted.

The California Highway Patrol in Oakland said several people were arrested, including an armed man who was vandalizing one of their patrol cars.

“Multiple arrests have been made since this is no longer a peaceful protest and at least one firearm was taken off a protester that was vandalizing a police car,” the CHP said on its Facebook page late Tuesday.

The Oakland Police Department estimated there were at least 350 people participating in the protests. It said it called on another department for help during the demonstrations sparked after a grand jury declined to indict 28-year-old Officer Darren Wilson in the Aug. 9 fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis.

Close to midnight Wednesday, a live video stream on ABC Television News' website showed small clusters of protesters roving through Oakland streets with police cars following closely behind.

In Los Angeles, about 150 people were arrested after failing to disperse during demonstrations that lasted all night around downtown, Officer Sally Madera said early Wednesday. There were no reports of injuries or property damage. Police remained on modified tactical alert at dawn.

Hundreds converged on police headquarters Tuesday evening, while a separate group was chased from the U.S. 101 freeway.

San Diego protests included a Tuesday night march in City Heights and downtown and a group that blocked State Route 15. Some of those protesters threw bottles at police and an unlawful assembly was declared, U-T San Diego reported.

On Wednesday morning, a line of demonstrators blocked northbound Interstate 5 in the La Jolla area, bringing traffic to a halt.

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