A protester flees as police officers try to disperse a crowd comprised largely of student demonstrators during a protest against police violence in the U.S., in Berkeley, California early December 7, 2014. (Reuters)Peaceful protests over the chokehold death of Eric Garner took a violent turn in Berkeley, Calif., on Saturday, when several masked protesters smashed store windows and hurled objects atpolice officers who used smoke and teargas to disperse the crowd, reuters.com reports.
According to Berkeley police spokeswoman Jenn Coats, two officers were injured during the protests, including one who was hospitalized with a dislocated shoulder after being hit with a sandbag. There were at least six arrests during the demonstration, which drew approximately 1,000 people to the streets of the San Francisco suburb.
Police in riot gear used batons to push back protesters during several confrontations. One protester was seen smashing the window of a store with a skateboard; another was seen in aerial footage being dragged to the ground by several officers in a scene reminiscent of Garner's arrest. After police threw a smoke bomb to thwart one group of demonstrators, a protester picked it up and lobbed it back.
There were protests in cities around the country for the fourth consecutive day since the grand jury’s decision not to indict the white New York city police officer, Daniel Pantaleo, in the July chokehold death of the unarmed Garner during a confrontation in Staten Island that was captured on video.
In Seattle, seven people were arrested while trying to block a roadway in downtown Seattle, where more than 600 people participated in a march and demonstration in front of police headquarters.
According to the Seattle Times, a group of protesters who broke off from the main group began throwing rocks at officers, police said.
Peaceful protests were held in other cities, including Chicago, Philadelphia, Miami and Las Vegas.
In New York, the demonstrations were considerably smaller on Saturday night than the previous three, due in part to heavy rains.
More protests were planned for Sunday.