Protesters take to Calif. streets in renewed calls for racial justice

California

Street art in support of Black Lives Matter covers boarded up store fronts on July 25, 2020 in Oakland, California. Demonstrators have gathered in Oakland dozens of times in recent months, first in the wake of George Floyd’s death, then in solidarity with protesters in Portland, and most recently after the police shooting of Jacob Blake. (Photo by Natasha Moustache/Getty Images)

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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Protests have been held from California’s capital to Los Angeles over the shooting of a Black Wisconsin man, Jacob Blake, and to call once again for broader reforms to address racial injustice in the U.S.

Blake, 29, was shot in the back seven times on Sunday by police in Kenosha as he leaned into his SUV, in which three of his children were seated. A family attorney on Tuesday said Blake was paralyzed, and it would “take a miracle” for him to walk again.

It’s the latest focal point in a reckoning over policing and racial injustice that has gripped the country since the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police. Demonstrators say that people of color are disproportionately affected by police violence.

They’re calling for reforms ranging from changes to use-of-force policies and bans on certain techniques, such as choke-holds, to more sweeping changes, such as re-allocating funds from police departments to social services that they say will help address the underlying causes of crime in communities.

Early Thursday evening, a group of about 150 people marched through Sacramento chanting, “Say his name: Jacob Blake!” marched through downtown and briefly halted at the state Capitol before peacefully dispersing, the Sacramento Bee reported.

Tisa Johnson, who lives in the area, came with her 15-year-old daughter, S’maya Johnson.

“I hate that I have to keep coming out here” to protest the deaths of Black people, Tisa Johnson said. “I want to show up and bear witness and be counted.”

Later that day, more than 150 people marched through downtown Sacramento Thursday night, KCRA-TV reported. Many wore black and some had helmets.

There were scattered reports of vandalism during the demonstrations

The station said several windows in downtown businesses were smashed, the City Hall was sprayed with graffiti, several other city buildings were vandalized, and there was at least one small fire set in the street.

The crowd dispersed late Thursday without any arrests made, Sacramento police said on Twitter. Officers were expected to stay downtown overnight and would be following up with vandalism reports.

In Los Angeles, protesters showed up at Police Chief Michel Moore’s home in a gated community and plastered the house with anti-police posters, KABC-TV reported.

Thursday night’s demonstrations followed confrontations with police the previous night that ended with some arrests.

Late Wednesday night in Los Angeles, a group of protesters vandalized buildings with graffiti and clashed with police in a downtown tunnel. A KABC-TV news helicopter showed objects being hurled as officers struggled with individuals. KTTV-TV reported that 10 people were taken into custody.

In Oakland, the police department tweeted that 600 to 700 people took part in protests where “numerous fires (were) set, dozens of windows broken, (and) multiple businesses vandalized.” Protesters threw objects at officers but none were injured, the department said. Several people were arrested.

Calling them “violent protesters,” police said they vandalized and set a fire at the Alameda County Superior Court building. Police photos showed fireworks and burning trash cans.

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