OPD Blocks Protesters
Oakland Police officers trying to maintain order after firing tear gas into a crowd of protesters on Seventh Street on May 29, 2020. Photo: Pete Rosos

Update, June 1: Alameda County rescinded this advisory around 5 a.m.

Original story: Alameda County is asking residents to stay home due to “civil unrest” after protests continued tonight in Oakland and elsewhere in the county in response to the police killing of 46-year-old George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 25.

The county sent out the Nixle alert around 8:15 p.m., warning against a “high number of police actions.” In its advisory, the county described “large, mobile groups of rioters and looters,” and said highway and freeway travel may be difficult or restricted. AC Transit will also be suspending modified bus service lines tonight, and police will be setting up roadblocks and detours in protest areas. Shelter-in-place orders due to COVID-19 are still in effect in Alameda County, banning non-essential travel.

Thousands of activists held large demonstrations in Oakland, San Francisco, and San Jose beginning Friday and continuing through the weekend, speaking out against the killing of a black man by a white police officer. Along with Floyd, they mourned the March 13 police killing of 26-year-old Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky, and the Feb. 23 death of Ahmaud Arbery, who was shot and killed by two white men in Glynn County, Georgia.

Many demonstrations were peaceful — including those who drove cars around Lake Merritt this afternoon —  but several escalated to violence after police shot tear gas into crowds. There was widespread looting in downtown Oakland, in various malls in Emeryville, at the Bay Fair Mall in San Leandro, and at the Broadway Plaza in downtown Walnut Creek, where a woman was shot in the arm, according to news reports.

In Oakland, police arrested 22 people on Friday night. Conflicting narratives have emerged surrounding those who were responsible for the damage, as well as their connections to Oakland. Berkeley police provided mutual aid to Oakland police at the protest.

Walnut Creek, Danville, San Francisco and San Jose enacted curfews beginning tonight between 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., which could allow law enforcement to arrest protesters who are outside of their homes during those hours. City officials in Berkeley and Oakland have not announced similar plans.

BHS students protesting police brutality on May 28 by walking down Interstate 980 on their way to downtown Oakland. Photo: Pete Rosos

Berkeley has been relatively quiet. There was a protest in Berkeley on Thursday, made up mostly of Berkeley High students, who demonstrated outside the public safety building and then walked onto I-980 to protest.

Supriya Yelimeli is a housing and homelessness reporter for Berkeleyside and joined the staff in May 2020 after contributing reporting since 2018 as a freelance writer. Yelimeli grew up in Fremont and...