Oakland prepares for Friday-night protest


Updated 11:03 am PDT, Friday, May 29, 2020

FILE - A demonstration over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis is planned for Friday night in Oakland. Photo: Jerry Trudell The Skys The Limit/Getty Images / what

A demonstration over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis is planned for Friday night in Oakland.

This event follows a small Thursday-night protest that started in front of the Oakland police headquarters and continued through the streets of the city, blocking traffic. Last night's demonstration was peaceful in comparison to the one in Minneapolis that spurred Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz to summon the National Guard to stop widespread looting.

Interim Oakland Police Chief Susan Manheimer made a statement online following Floyd's death, saying, "We stand with our community in denouncing this incident and all incidents of police brutality. We stand with all in our community who have traditionally been marginalized, oppressed, and who have been harmed by our systems and institutions. We extend our deepest condolences to George Floyd and his family."

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf released a statement about the killing of Floyd on Twitter, writing, "The killing of George Floyd is our American travesty, repeated. It’s a nauseating act of gov. violence against a Black man, and it angers our city and communities across the country. We can, and must, undo the systems that allow it, and build a more beloved community right now."

Organized by police watchdog groups, the Friday protest will start at 8 p.m. at Frank Ogawa Plaza, between 14th Street and Broadway.

The Minneapolis officer who was seen on video kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who died in custody after pleading that he could not breathe, was arrested Friday. Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said state investigators placed Derek Chauvin into custody.

The arrest comes after three days of protests, which escalated in violence as demonstrators torched a police precinct that had been abandoned by officers.

Authorities say Floyd was detained Monday because he matched the description of someone who tried to pay with a counterfeit bill at a convenience store, and the 46-year-old resisted arrest.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Amy Graff is a digital editor with SFGATE. Email her: agraff@sfgate.com.