Rubber bullets, tear gas in Berkeley as police disperse #EricGarner, #Ferguson rally

Police officers scuffle with protesters during a protest against police violence in the U.S., in Berkeley, California December 6, 2014 (Reuters / Noah Berger)
Protests against police brutality have turned violent in Berkeley, California, as officers are resorting to rubber bullets, flash bang grenades and tear gas in a tense standoff with demonstrators demanding justice.

The scene in this liberal college town remains chaotic Saturday night as reports of injured protesters at the hands of the police begin emerged. The protesters took to the streets to express their anger over a series of high-profile incidences involving the death of black Americans at the hands of white police officers - all of whom were cleared of any wrongdoing by the courts.

According to police, some of the protesters took to more violent methods of expression.


"A small portion of protesters have been violent," Jennifer Coats, a spokeswoman for the Berkeley Police Department, told CNN. "They started throwing rocks and other projectiles at our officers. Some officers have suffered minor injuries as a result."

A demonstrator throws backs a teargas canister toward the police line during the fourth night of demonstrations over recent grand jury decisions in police-involved deaths on December 6, 2014 in Berkeley, California (AFP Photo / Stephen Lam)

Coats confirmed that one police officer suffered injuries as some of the protesters hurled objects at police positions.

Several masked protesters hurled projectiles at police in riot gear, while other protesters implored them not to use violence.

Police then moved on unmasked protesters at a busy intersection, commanding them to move away. When their orders went unheeded, the police tossed tear gas canisters into the crowd, with some of the protesters hurling the tear gas back at the police.




Are the protesters the ones who are violent..? #berkeleyferguson #ericgarner #mikebrown #icantbreathe

A video posted by Ryan Moore (@digableblankets) on Dec 12, 2014 at 7:37pm PST

Coats said that about 200 people were participating in the fourth day of protests following a grand jury decision that acquitted a white New York City police officer of any wrongdoing in the death of Eric Garner, a 43-year-old black Staten Island resident, on July 17.


In a videotaped scene that has stirred the emotions of many people across the country, the officer is seen placing Garner in a choke hold as a group of other officers restrained him. Garner, who reportedly suffered from asthma, died after repeatedly saying, "I can't breathe" - a phrase that has become a rallying cry for the protesters.

Garner's mother on Saturday implored the thousands of demonstrators who have taken to streets across the country to draw attention to her son's death to "keep on doing it, but do it in peace."

olice officers scuffle with protesters during a protest against police violence in the U.S., in Berkeley, California December 6, 2014 (Reuters / Noah Berger)

The Garner decision came shortly after a Missouri grand jury decided not to indict a white police officer in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, 18, who was shot multiple times following a confrontation with police despite being unarmed.

Protests have erupted across the country in Philadelphia, Chicago, Las Vegas and dozens of other cities. In New York, where a fourth consecutive day of rallies took place, several dozen people participated in a mock “die-in” at Grand Central Station, as well as conducting protests inside shops on Times Square. There were no reports of arrests.

Meanwhile, in Seattle, several hundred people assembled at police headquarters Saturday, which resulted in a small group of protesters hurling rocks at police. Seven of the protesters were arrested.

In Portland, Oregon, a throng of peaceful yet passionate protesters entered the Justice Center building, shouting “Justice,” before moving to a shopping mall, where the chant turned to “Don’t shoot” and “Black lives matter.”