Eric Garner protests in Oakland, California, have taken a dangerous turn.
During a protest late Sunday night on a highway demonstrators threw rocks, bottles, glass and explosives at police.
— Evan Sernoffsky (@EvanSernoffsky) December 8, 2014
Police are not certain what sort of explosives were used, but Highway Patrol Sgt. Diana McDermott told CNN she believes they consisted of Molotov cocktails and M-80 firecrackers.
M-80 firecrackers were originally made by the U.S. military to simulate explosives or artillery fire. After they were sold as consumer fireworks, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives made them illegal in the 1970s.
In nearby Berkeley, protesters repeated behavior experienced in Ferguson after a grand jury declined to bring Officer Darren Wilson up on charges in the death of Michael Brown. Businesses were looted and vandalized by masked protesters.
A protester attempting to prevent looting at a Radio Shack was assaulted with a hammer:
The violence in California follows at threat issued by a “tattooed gang of militants” in New York who, according to the Sergeants Benevolent Association, are “preparing to shoot on duty police officers.”
According to the New York Daily News, the threat was issued by the Black Guerrilla Family, a drug-dealing gang formed in the 1960s in California prisons. The gang is said to have emerged on the East Coast and Maryland.
Sergeants Benevolent Association President Ed Mullins said he believes the threat is not directly related to the Garner decision but is instead “related to the whole atmosphere” in the wake of the Garner and Brown decisions.
“Who knows if there’s a lone wolf out there or a small group that wants to do something,” he said.