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California protests over police killings calm

December 10, 2014

OAKLAND, California (AP) — A small group of demonstrators tried unsuccessfully to shut down a federal courthouse in California Wednesday following four nights of large, often violent protests against the killings of black men by white police officers.

Protesters around the country have rallied for weeks following grand jury decisions not to indict a Ferguson, Missouri, officer in the killing of Michael Brown and a New York City officer who was seen on video applying a fatal chokehold on Eric Garner. Both slain men were unarmed.

About 50 nonviolent protesters blocked the Oakland courthouse’s front and back entrances, but employees entered through side doors.

The protest involved white community members who joined religious leaders under the message “white silence equals violence, black lives matter.”

The protest was quiet compared to activity in Berkeley night earlier.

Authorities arrested at least 19 people Tuesday night. Berkeley police arrested five adults and one juvenile, and the California Highway Patrol apprehended 13 others.

Protesters briefly blocked traffic on a highway that connects Berkeley to Oakland, and some hurled rocks, projectiles and incendiary devices at officers, a spokesman said.

A police spokesman in nearby Emeryville said some protesters threw bottles and chunks of concrete at officers and damaged some stores.

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