Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Spokesman Scott Westerman said just before 1 a.m., bricks and rocks were thrown through their windows, doing about $20,000 worth of damage to the outside of the building.
Eight people were arrested and three officers were injured Monday night when protesters clashed with police in downtown Portland in a rally against two recent officer-involved shootings.
Westerman said computers and other items were damaged inside the office.
No suspects have been named in the case.
A demonstration over a second fatal shooting by Portland police has resulted in charges against some protesters who confronted officers, a contrast to peaceful protests over a previous shooting.
At least eight protesters were arrested among the crowd of about 200 that marched through downtown streets Monday, protesting the shooting deaths of Jack Collins this month and Aaron Campbell in January.
Seven of them were arraigned Tuesday and one was cited after they were charged with disorderly conduct, criminal mischief and riot, according to Detective Mary Wheat, a Portland Police Bureau spokeswoman.
Wheat said four officers suffered minor injuries. The protest remains under investigation for other assaults against officers and additional property damage, she said.
The protesting group called itself Black Bloc and a number of them wore black masks or clothing as they chanted slogans, including "Cops, pigs, murderers" and "When cops attack, stand up, fight back."
The Black Bloc also posted advance plans for the protest on the Internet, with advice such as wearing protest clothing that could be easily discarded, chanting loudly and protecting protesters trying to damage property.
Police on foot, bicycles and horses tried to keep marchers on sidewalks as they walked through downtown on a route that took them past the federal courthouse and police headquarters before heading to the Portland State University campus.
A bank window was broken, and TV crews captured some protesters trying to vandalize TV trucks.
The protest was called to demonstrate against the March 22 shooting of Collins, a 58-year-old homeless man killed after officer Jason Walters responded to a report of a disturbance at the Hoyt Arboretum. Police said Collins was advancing on Walters with a knife and that the officer shot him after warning Collins.
Whitney Boise, the attorney for the officer, issued a statement Tuesday asking the public to withhold judgment until all the facts are known.
The other fatal shooting that led to the Monday protest was Jan. 29, when officer Ron Frashour killed Campbell in the parking lot of a Portland apartment building. A routine check on the welfare of Campbell, his girlfriend and some young children ended with Frashour shooting Campbell once in the back.
Police said Frashour, who is white, believed Campbell, who was black, was reaching into his waistband for a weapon but he was unarmed.
The shooting attracted national attention, including a visit by the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who called it "an execution."
Sunday, March 28, 2010
For your consideration:
Theses on the Imaginary Party
A piece originally published in the first issue of the French journal, Tiqqun, in 1999. Are the actions reported on this blog mere objects of fetishization? Or do they represent something all the more terrible? While every event found on this blog may be of some interest as singular experiences, a deep-rooted collusion of sorts is found when one examines every seemingly pointless act of vandalism as only a variation on a theme felt in many other anti-social activities, from bank robberies to the murder of police officers.
Some Recent Actions of the Imaginary Party
Essentially an English rewriting of the original Tiqqun piece, "Quelques actions d’éclat du Parti Imaginaire," localized for the Puget Sound. An interesting exploration into an applied theory of the imaginary party.
Saturday, March 27, 2010
The burglaries all happened within ten minutes, but deputies have not said whether they are related.
The first report came in at 4:39 a.m. at Ridge Runners Liquors, 18990 S. Tamiami Trail.
The glass in the front of the building had impact marks and was cracked, but the glass did not break, reports said.
Broken pieces of concrete were lying on the ground by the front door.
When the owner arrived, the deputy checked the interior and everything was secure.
The damage to the window was estimated at $2,000 to $4,000.
The second burglary was reported to deputies at 4:42 a.m. The burglary happened at Grande Oaks Liquor, 20301 Grande Oak Shoppes Boulevard.
The deputy who responded said the front entrance smashed and there was broken glass scattered at the bottom of the door, reports said.
When the business owner arrived, he told deputies several bottles of Hennessey and Courvoisier were missing.
The third burglary was reported at 4:49 a.m. at San Carlos Liquors and Lounge, 18911 S. Tamiami Trail.
The front door of the business was smashed out and there was broken glass on the ground.
The owner said seven bottles of Cognac were missing.
The Daily Progress of Charlottesville reports that someone threw bricks through the headquarter’s windows, breaking three of them. The vandalism was discovered Friday morning.
Earlier this week, someone cut a propane line leading to a grill at the Charlottesville home of Democratic Rep. Tom Perriello’s brother after the address was posted online by activists angry about the health care overhaul.
Albemarle County Republican Chairwoman Rachel Shoenewald says people are angry on both sides of the political spectrum.
In November, someone glued the county GOP headquarters’ doors shut on Election Day.
But these so-called flash mobs have taken a more aggressive and raucous turn here as hundreds of teenagers have been converging downtown for a ritual that is part bullying, part running of the bulls: sprinting down the block, the teenagers sometimes pause to brawl with one another, assault pedestrians or vandalize property.
On Wednesday, the police here said that they had had enough. They announced plans to step up enforcement of a curfew already on the books, and to tighten it if there is another incident.
They added that they planned to hold parents legally responsible for their children’s actions. They are also considering making free transit passes for students invalid after 4 p.m., instead of 7 p.m., to limit teenagers’ ability to ride downtown.
“This is bad decision making by a small group of young people who are doing silly but dangerous stuff,” Mayor Michael A. Nutter said in an interview Wednesday. “We intend to do something about it immediately.”
Flash mobs are not unique to Philadelphia, but they have been more frequent here than elsewhere. Others that resulted in arrests and injuries have been reported over the past year in Boston, South Orange, N.J., and Brooklyn.
Philadelphia officials added that they had also begun getting help from the Federal Bureau of Investigation to monitor social-media networks. And television and radio stations are helping to recruit hip-hop artists to make public service announcements imploring teenagers to end the practice.
In the past year, at least four of the flash mobs have broken out in the city, including one on Saturday in which roving teenagers broke into fights, several onlookers were injured and at least three people were arrested.
“It was like a tsunami of kids,” said Seth Kaufman, 20, a pizza deliveryman at Olympia II Pizza & Restaurant on South Street. He lifted his shirt to show gashes along his back and arm. He also had bruises on his forehead he said were from kicks and punches he suffered while trying to keep a rowdy crowd from entering the shop, where a fight was already under way.
“By the time you could hear them yelling, they were flooding the streets and the stores and the sidewalks,” Mr. Kaufman said.
The ad hoc gangs have scared many pedestrians off the streets.
City residents are also starting to complain about the number of unsupervised children, and child advocates are asking if there are enough activities to keep young people busy after school.
“We definitely need more jobs for kids, we need more summer jobs for kids, we need more after-school programming, and we need more parent support,” said Shelly Yanoff, executive director of Public Citizens for Children and Youth, a children’s advocacy group in Philadelphia.
Ms. Yanoff added that libraries and after-school programs had been reduced and a program for youth offenders had been cut sharply. On Friday, officials said, two preteenagers assaulted a woman as part of a violent game called “Catch and Wreck,” in which children pick out people who appear homeless and then beat them and take any money they have.
The police, who say these assaults are unrelated to flash mobs, arrested an 11-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl in the attack. The police said they also planned to charge the boy in an attack on a 73-year-old man who was beaten and robbed in the same area on March 13.
The flash mobs have raised questions about race and class.
Most of the teenagers who have taken part in them are black and from poor neighborhoods. Most of the areas hit have been predominantly white business districts.
In the flash mob on Saturday, groups of teenagers were chanting “black boys” and “burn the city,” bystanders said.
In a Feb. 16 melee, 150 teenagers spilled out of the Gallery shopping mall east of City Hall during rush hour and rampaged through Macy’s, knocking down customers and damaging displays.
The police arrested 15 of the teenagers and, according to one report, some had not been allowed to call their parents six hours after they were detained.
Clay Yeager, a juvenile justice consultant and former director of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention in Pennsylvania, said he believed the flash mobs were partly a result of a decline in state money for youth violence prevention programs.
Financing for the programs has dropped 93 percent to $1.2 million in this year’s budget compared with $16 million in 2002. City financing for such programs has dropped to $1.9 million in the past three years compared with $4.1 million from 1999 through 2002, a 53 percent drop.
Mayor Nutter, who is black, rejected the notion that race or the city cut in services was a factor.
“I don’t think people should be finding excuses for inappropriate behavior,” Mr. Nutter said. “There is no racial component to stupid behavior, and parents should not be looking to the government to provide entertainment for their children.”
Violent crime in Philadelphia has dropped 12 percent and homicides have fallen 23 percent since 2008.
Bill Wasik, a senior editor at Harper’s who is credited with introducing the notion of a flash mob in 2003, said he was surprised by the new focus of some of the gatherings.
Mr. Wasik said the mobs started as a kind of playful social experiment meant to encourage spontaneity and big gatherings to temporarily take over commercial and public areas simply to show that they could.
“It’s terrible that these Philly mobs have turned violent,” he said.
City Administrator John Atkins said theft of the computer is a federal crime and has been reported to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He said the computer, later found destroyed, contained all the programming that kept the water-treatment plant working on autopilot.
Water quality is unaffected, Atkins said. The only difference is the plant is running in manual-control mode and must be monitored in-person.
"We have no water-quality problems at all," Atkins said. "And frankly, we can shut off the plant at night because we keep our reservoirs topped off. We have enough water stored that we'd be good for days."
Atkins said he hired a security consultant to "harden" both the water-treatment plant and the sewage-treatment plant against future break-in attempts.
"Additional security measures are now in place to prevent another such intrusion," Atkins said
On Saturday, an assistant plant operator was on standby duty when an intruder alarm alerted him to the break-in. When he arrived at the plant, he found the plant's front door open and the computer gone.
City staff members immediately began searching Internet sites such as Craigslist and eBay to see whether anyone had put the computer up for sale.
The next day, however, the computer and monitor were discovered in the backwash pond at the plant site. The computer and monitor are destroyed. Atkins estimated cash value loss at "less than $1,000."
Computer experts are trying to recover the programming from the hard drive, Atkins said.
Police said the burglar gained access to the plant by driving around a fenced and gated area through an adjacent tree farm.
Fire Chief Thomas W. Coulombe said the blaze at L. Sidur & Sons Oil Co. on Homecrest Avenue was reported at 3:55 a.m. and the first firefighters to arrive found flames burning inside an office area and spreading to the truck bays. Mutual aid from neighboring Palmer was called and firefighters from Warren were placed on standby inside the Ware fire station.
About 22 firefighters battled the smoky blaze and worked to open the garage doors so the oil trucks stored inside could be removed. Headlights melted, windshields were damaged and the trucks were covered in a smoky haze, but the company’s owner hopes they might be salvaged.
“We were unable to open the door closest to the fire because the heat was causing it to separate,” Chief Coulombe said. Firefighters cut that door open and were able to raise the other doors so that as soon as the fire was under control, the owners were able to remove the trucks. The fire was brought under control in about 90 minutes, though crews were at the scene throughout much of the day trying to determine the cause.
An accelerant sniffing dog, Corrin, and handler Trooper Gerald Perwak, from the state fire marshal’s office, worked inside the building and state troopers removed several items, placing them in cans or bags. By day’s end, they had determined the fire had been set.
That news had the Sidur family upset.
“This didn’t have to happen,” Simone Sidur said of the business she and her husband will hand off to their two sons, who now run the business with them. When she arrived at the fire in the wee morning hours, she held her hands over her face and cried. By daylight she and her husband, Joseph Sidur, and their sons, were promising to rebuild.
“We’ve had a lot of support,” she said, although her husband was saddened that his century-old roll-top desk was a charred ruin.
“That must have been where they started it,” he said. “I’ve had that desk forever.”
The fire was not the only incident in the neighborhood overnight. One person reported a car had been broken into and a nearby greenhouse was damaged. Yellow police tape also hung near a shed at a home across the street from the oil company.
Ware police and fire department investigators and troopers from the state fire marshal’s office are now turning their focus to finding a suspect.
Austin police arrested Omar Ramos-Lopez, 20, on Wednesday, charging him with felony breach of computer security.
Ramos-Lopez used a former colleague's password to deactivate starters and set off car horns, police said. Several car owners said they had to call tow trucks and were left stranded at work or home.
"He caused these customers, now victims, to miss work," Austin police spokeswoman Veneza Aguinaga said. "They didn't get paid. They had to get tow trucks. They didn't know what was going on with their vehicles."
Ramos-Lopez was in the Travis County Jail on Wednesday with bond set at $3,000. The Associated Press could not find a working phone number for his family.
The Texas Auto Center dealership in Austin installs GPS devices that can prevent cars from starting. The system is used to repossess cars when buyers are overdue on payments, said Jeremy Norton, a controller at the dealership where Ramos-Lopez worked. Car horns can be activated when repo agents go to collect vehicles and believe the owners are hiding them.
"We are taking extra measures to make sure this never happens again," Norton said.
Starting in mid-February, dealership employees noticed unusual changes to their business records. Someone was going into the system and changing customers' names, such as having dead rapper Tupac Shakur buying a 2009 vehicle, Norton said.
Soon, customers began calling saying their cars wouldn't start, or that their horns were going off incessantly, forcing them to disengage the battery. Norton said the dealership originally thought the cars had mechanical problems.
Then employees noticed someone had ordered $130,000 in parts and equipment from the company that makes the GPS devices.
Police said they were able to trace the sabotage to Ramos-Lopez's computer, leading to his arrest.
Norton said Ramos-Lopez didn't seem unusually upset about being fired.
"I think he thought what he was doing was a harmless prank," Norton said. "He didn't see the ramifications of it."
Police say vandals used a BB gun and other objects to break over 30 car windows in the last few days.
Dozens of car windows have been smashed and several buildings were spray painted over the last few days.
Police said that it has been especially bad in the last day and a half.
From midnight Wedneday to 8:30 a.m. Thursday, police said more than 30 cars were vandalized.
Amy Lemus of York was down on her hands and knees Thursday as she vacuumed up pieces of broken glass from her husband's Hyundai Veracruz.
The car was parked on Garfield Street near Farquar Park when vandals smashed out two windows. They also vandalized her father's car.
"I guess they think it is funny," said Lemus. "I don't think it is funny."
Police: Vandalisms Spike Over Last Few Days
York police said they are not sure if the vandalism is the work of one or more people, but they have clearly seen a dramatic increase in the number of vandalized cars.
Some 35 owners reported car windows being smashed over a day and a half.
Jasmine Tirado was one of them. Tirado, who lives along Parkway Boulevard, said she found her minivan had been vandalized around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday.
But she wasn't alone. At least seven of her neighbors also had car windows broken out.
"I guess it is fun for them. It is amusement to them to damage other people's property," said Tirado.
Vandals also spray painted several buildings in the area, such as this one in North York.
Police say a BB gun was used to shoot out some of the windows, but other things were used as well.
For now, police said they have no suspects.
Residents Frustrated By Repeated Vandalism
For some folks in the Parkway neighborhood, this isn't the first time they've been vandalized. Some of them had car windows shattered just a couple of weeks ago.
Rosa Santiago said her car window was broken just a week ago. The damage was repaired, but her car was vandalized yet again.
She said she doesn't know where she can safely park her car anymore, that's why she's in no hurry to get it fixed.
The other reason is the money. She said she doesn't have the $200 necessary to fix the damage, so it will have to wait.
James Johnson, 27, and William Johnson, 23, walked away from the minimum-security prison and were discovered missing around 10 p.m., Denise Lombardo, a spokeswoman for prison, and a press release say.
James Johnson, serving a six-year sentence, is a white male with brown hair and eyes. He is 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs 200 pounds, according to the Department of Corrections Online Offender Lookup system.
William Johnson, serving a nine-year sentence, is a white male with brown hair and eyes. He is 6 feet 3 inches tall and weighs 246 pounds, according to the system.
The men were last seen wearing khaki uniforms, and both have tattoos, reports say.
James Johnson was convicted of drug trafficking, burglary and theft in Powell County Nov. 4, and William Johnson was convicted of possession of a forged instrument and theft in Breathitt County Oct. 3, the system says.
James Johnson would've been eligible for parole in June, and William Johnson would've been eligible for parole in November, Todd Henson, a spokesman for the state Department of Corrections, said.
The theft happened at 4:20 a.m. inside the Safeway store at the Lincoln Square shopping center at 4100 Redwood Road in the Oakland hills, said Officer Holly Joshi, a Police Department spokeswoman. The store was closed, but the thieves pried open the doors, police said.
Employees were in the store at the time, but apparently were in the back and did not see the theft. The amount of money stolen was not disclosed.
It was the fourth ATM theft in Oakland in the past month. Machines were stolen Sunday at a gas station on Fifth Street, March 4 at a laundry on College Avenue and Feb. 28 from a convenience store on MacArthur Boulevard, Joshi said.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
“We don’t give a fuck, the time is now.”
When word spread that the Portland police had just shot a man to death at the Hoyt Arboretum, we knew we had to make a choice: to allow ourselves to be human, or to participate in our own murders, to hide away in sleep and the unfolding of a routine that ends, for all of us, in death. It’s a choice that has been made for us so many times before: by the media, by community leaders, professional activists, bosses, teachers, parents, friends who do not push us to confront this fear with them. We are killing ourselves with so much swallowed rage.
Tonight, we would not go to sleep with this sour feeling in our stomachs. Tonight, we gave a name to what we feel: rage. This is how it started.
Within hours of word getting out, local anarchists met in a park, and decided we had to march on the police station. Not the central precinct: that neighborhood would be dead at this hour. We wanted to shout at the police, but also to find our neighbors, to talk to the other folks in our community, to let them know what happened and call them down into the streets with us. To not let them find out about this murder in the sanitized commentary of the glowing screen but to meet them and cry out to them, the rage and sadness plain in our faces: we cannot live with what has happened. We cannot allow this to go on.
The march left the park and headed through a residential neighborhood, interrupting the dead Monday night silence of consumer-workers recovering from another day ripped from their grasp. Chanting at the top of our lungs, we encountered our own anger, our own sense of power. “And now one slogan to unite us all: cops, pigs, murderers.”
Many expected this march to be only symbolic. Few were prepared for anything more. But we encountered a collective force that amplifies the individual rather than smothering each one of us in the mass. The two who took the initiative to drag a dumpster into the street changed the history of this city. This small sign of sabotage spread. We all made it our own.
When the first little garbage containers were brought into the road, a couple people put them back on the sidewalk, trying to clean up the march, to make it respectable. They were confronted, shouted at. “This doesn’t send a message,” they said. “You can do that if you want, but go somewhere else,” they said. But we have nowhere to go, except for the spaces we violently reclaim. And our message is unmistakable: we are angry, and we are getting out of hand. People continued to be uncontrollable, and soon those who had appointed themselves the censors of our struggle saw that it was they who were in the wrong place. No one attempted to control their participation. They were not allowed to control ours.
Once we got on Burnside Avenue, dumpsters were being turned over every hundred feet, blocking both directions. Folks had scavenged rocks and bottles and sticks and drums. One person had had the foresight to bring a can of spraypaint, also changing the history of our moment. We were no longer a protest. We were vengeance.
When the crowd passed the first bank, a few individuals erupted into action, while others watched their backs. The ATM got smashed. A window got smashed. Rocks and bottles were thrown. Sirens began ringing out behind us. A Starbucks appeared one block ahead. A race: could we get there before the pigs arrived? We won. More windows broke.
When the police tried to get us on to the sidewalk, they were shocked by the intensity of rage they faced. “Fuck the police!” “Murderers!” Their lights and sirens had no effect. Someone shoved a dumpster into the lead cop car. They were temporarily speechless.
Only when the cops outnumbered the people did they try again, with some pepper spray and brute force finally succeeding to push us onto the sidewalk. But we were smart. We knew we couldn’t win a fight just then, and every chance we got we took the street again. We didn’t surrender: they had to work for it. And never did we surrender our power over the mood of the night. Louder than their sirens were our ceaseless screams, our chants, focusing our range and wiping the arrogant smiles off the pigs’ faces. They were visibly upset by the level of hatred they encountered.
We got to the police station and yelled at the line of police waiting there for us, yelled at the media parasites standing by with their cameras, calling out their complicity in police violence and racism. Most of us didn’t worry about sending the proper message or appearing respectable. We expressed our rage and the power of our analysis, our ability and willingness to take initiative and change this world.
The first TV news clips, ironically, were the best we could have hoped for, but we do not put our hope in the media. We will communicate our critique of the police to the rest of the city with our protests, our fliers, our bodies, our communiqués. With graffiti and smashed windows.
It should also be noted that the police have not yet released the race of the person killed. We don’t know yet which community is “most affected” by this murder. We respond because police violence affects all of us, because we want to show solidarity every time the State executes someone. We know that racism is a critical feature of control in this society, and we also believe we must find ways to act responsibly as allies to communities that are not our own. But solidarity must be critical, and it can only be practiced by those who are struggling for their own freedom. It is clear from tonight’s actions that we fight against police violence because we feel rage and sadness whenever they kill someone.
We fight in solidarity with everyone else who fights back. And by fighting, we are remembering what it is like to be human.
In these moments when we surprise ourselves, we catch little glimpses of the world we fight for. Running down the streets, stooping to pick up a rock, we realize that in our hand we have nothing less than a building block of the future commune.
Our commune is the rage that spreads across the city, setting little fires of vengeance in the night. Our commune is the determination that comes back to the public eye the next day, meeting in the open, not letting the rest of society forget this murder, not letting our neighbors numb themselves with routine. Our commune rattles the bars of our cages, and this noise is our warcry: “out into the streets.”
Sunday, March 7, 2010
"Por El comrades
We expressed our distaste for the veiled technological prison of surveillance and electronic monitoring by sabotaging several of the soon to be installed ID-card scanners at the Hunter College campus. Against education as such, we then struck Brooklyn College’s administrative building.
'Capitalism is a system of relationships, which goes from inside to out, from outside to in, from above to below, and from below to above. Everything is relative, everything is in chains. Capitalism is a condition both of the world and of the soul.'
There is nothing left; nothing that hasn’t been molded, molested, or completely crushed; nothing that has managed to escape the network of power as it scours every inch of the earth, lodging itself into every crevice. Crowding each moment, the omnipresent asphyxiation provides ample evidence to this all-encompassing totalization. Heads bowed, backs bent, we bear the weight of the day in our beleaguered entrails.
Now taking on increasingly monstrous qualities, a vampire-likeness of achieved full nocturnality, even the sleeper finds his dreams inhabited. Robbing us of expectations, snatching away our latent potential, Capital has acquired the speculative capability to recuperate futures and integrate things before their invention. After colonizing the entire world, the enemy now works to conquer the collective realm of our imaginations where we once plotted and, consequently, envisioned its very demise.
The cooption of creativity signaled the predetermined defeat, which led the Marxists to surrender to the British Museum before they realized an 1848. The only pseudo-victory to their credit consists in pushing Negri out of the spotlight by ushering “communization” and “insurrection” into the academy’s discursive field. Both trends can be written off as failed experiments because each has neglected to activate the only concept capable of giving jargon any significance. The Struggle.
'To fight, to be defeated, to fight again, to be defeated again, to fight anew until the final victory.'
- An old Italian adage
In practice, the clashes and occupations have divorced the leftist baggage and chosen everyday life as the terrain for conflict, yet unfortunately expression still continues to abide by the activist calendar. A day of action is paled by a year of misery. Like long fits of depression, extended bouts of downtime undermine each subversive act, resulting in the production of militant event planners: blinded to the past and merely anticipating the next unsuccessful Bastille storming. They strike at the same tempo ordinary citizens attend birthday parties, riot at the same rate of wedding crashers and surely, at this pace, they will never RSVP the bourgeoisie funeral.
Detached theory and relegated practice present themselves as nothing other than the comorbid symptoms of statified ideology. Now we can confidently diagnose that the much prophesized 'coming' can only amount to a passing fad.
We notice the relentless internalized repression masquerading as patience and so we refuse to wait for March 4th, the ides of March or, for that matter, any date to come. We expressed our distaste for the veiled technological prison of surveillance and electronic monitoring by sabotaging several of the soon to be installed ID-card scanners at the Hunter College campus. Against education as such, we then struck Brooklyn College’s administrative building. Lastly, we attacked Marathon bank, a subsidiary of the same Piraeus bank that Alfredo Bonanno and Christos Stratigopoulos are accused of expropriating. We extend our solidarity to the two imprisoned comrades and, as Bonanno’s health deteriorates in a prison cell, we adhere to the following principle.
'For an eye, two eyes. For a tooth, the whole face.'"
All traffic slowed to a stop, and no individuals were in in any danger of being struck by automobiles. The riot police pursued them as they hopped over barriers in an attempt to make their way to the Jackson street off-ramp. As police closed in, most of the group sat down in anticipation of being arrested.
The police were violent with many of the protesters, using excessive force with their riot batons. None of the arrested were reported to be carrying weapons of any kind, and none were attempting to attack any of the officers. The police shut down the freeway in both directions, handcuffed and escorted the marchers to the Jackson street offramp where police busses slowly arrived to take the prisoners to North County and Sana Rita Jail facilities.
155 individuals were reported to have been arrested, in addition to some minors who were released into the custody of their parents. Francois Zimany was taken to the hospital after either falling, jumping, or being pushed by police off of the freeway, and is now at home with his family. The group was held over night, and released periodically throughout the day on Friday.
South Brunswick Police Sgt. James Ryan says the thieves climbed a gas pipe up the side of the Best Buy store and used some type of suction to lift a 3-foot-by-3-foot hole in the roof.
Ryan says the suspects lowered themselves 16 feet to the metal racks inside the store and remained about 10 feet off the ground, evading motion sensors.
The suspects used banners in the store to block themselves from security cameras.
Employees discovered the break-in when they saw debris on the floor and a hole in the roof on Wednesday.
Sometime between closing time Tuesday and 8 a.m. Wednesday, thieves broke into the back door of a vacant shop adjacent to Mission Jewelers at 31878 Del Obispo St. and began to drill a hole in the shared wall, said sheriff’s spokesman Jim Amormino.
They abandoned that hole and started a new tunnel in a back room, possibly to avoid being seen by someone through a window, he said. The thieves – there were probably two, given the weight of the 1,000-pound safe, Amormino added – left through the back of the shop, dismantling a metal security door to do so.
“There’s no question it was very well planned,” Amormino said. “They cut all the wires and took a security camera and most of the security surveillance.”
Authorities did, however, manage to obtain some evidence at the scene, as well as surveillance from an unidentified source, he said.
The investigation was continuing.
Fire officials said someone broke a glass door at the South Metro Parole Center and tossed the firebomb inside.
The fire damaged an office area where parolees met parole officers. The building was closed at the time of the incident.
The center reopened Friday despite the fire damage.
A parolee told Channel 2 Action News reporter Tom Jones that "whoever set the fire might have thought it would have stopped something or was mad at his parole officer. One monkey don't stop no show."
Authorities are currently investigating the incident.