tv NBC Bay Area News at 5 NBC May 29, 2020 5:00pm-5:30pm PDT
thank you. >> appreciate the time there from officer franzen. we've been going on for a couple of hours now with the shutdown of 101 in san jose because of protests stemmed by the death of george floyd in minneapolis. let's show you why. big crowds taking over 101 in san jose since about 2:00 this afternoon. those crowds there, on this day, protesting the death of george floyd in minneapolis. he died this week, after a police officer put his knee on floyd's neck and held him down for several minutes. video of that went viral. crowds of people begging the police officer to stop, as floyd himself urged the police officer that he could no longer breathe. today, that police officer has been arrested. three, in total four officers were arrested, including the one that was, pardon me, three were
fired, including the one that was arrested today. now, this is in response to that. protesters gathering at city hall in san jose. starting at about 2:00 this afternoon. and the group then walked to 101 in san jose, at the santa clara exit. >> at that point, what you can see, you can see it happening here, from our nbc bay area sky ranger, they blocked traffic on 101, at one point, both directions of 10:1 were blocked. right now southbound 101 is still relatively blocked. northbound 101 being diverted on side streets. if you can, stay away from 101. we did see some incidents of this, vandalism, car break-ins, car smashes, and windows broken. tires flattened. overwhelmingly, though from what we've seen, our vantage point in the studio and our reporters that there have been peaceful protests, but there are a group of people here trying to just cause some damage here and hopefully this does not escalate. we're joined by the reverend jethro moore, ii from the naacp, he says he does not condone the
violence here but he is very happy to see young people step up and speak out. young people of all colors, ul all backgrounds of all race, not just in san jose but across the country this evening. we have two reporters on the ground level here for us, damian trujillo has been in the thick of it all day. we will start with damian trujillo. tell us where you are and what you're seeing now. >> reporter: i'm standing right in the middle of santa clara street because the westbound direction from highway 101 has been blocked off. and what i'm gathering is that the police officers here do not want the protesters to come back in this direction, and take over highway 101 again. so right now, they are diverting the eastbound traffic from santa clara street, on to southbound highway 101. the eastbound direction of alum rock avenue is closed right now, as well as the westbound direction. the on-ramp to alum rock avenue is also blocked off as police
officers here try to preen the protesters from returning. there are none of them, no protesters at this point here. and they have all moved. i can't see them from my vantage point. they were headed in the direction of city hall, followed by several police officers, and a lot of them, in riot gear, to make sure that nothing got out of hand. yes, there were a few smashed windows, a rock did come whizzing by my head at one point, but for the most part, they haven't caused too much damage, other than the vandalism of those patrol cars. they are mostly teenagers. they sound very angry. they were chanting, along with let him breathe, also chanting a few ex ple tives but for the most part, very peaceful, the protesters, out here in san jose. they may be headed downtown. i can't see from where i'm at. the police officers are making sure they don't return in this direction and if so, they will take care of that accordingly.
back to you. we want to take you back out here live. thank you, damian. now we see the protesters, and you can see all of a sudden the protesters are starting to run, we're trying to get an exact location of this area that's happening, this is santa clara street, and we see some of the protesters running, but we don't exactly know why they're running. but we do see a sudden disbursement of the protesters. police are lined up in front of them. okay now we're starting to see altercation on the ground. we see a bunch of protesters, it looks like there may be tear gas happening at this point. and some of those protesters are now starting to disburse. police are in a line, in a grid formation, right now, and we've seen them trying to move the crowd back. there was an incident right there where we saw either a flash bang or some potentially
other type of chemical being used and then we saw the crowd disburse. and then we see on the other side of the crowd, it is starting to begin again. we're looking at a second crowd here because there is a rather substantial large crowd also at city hall, which is apparently where most of the protesters were heading to, but now we see the officers flanked here, on santa clara street, and keeping the protesters from walking toward the bottom part of your screen. but again, now we're starting to see some of the demonstrators move back, into this area. it is hard at this juncture to see, it doesn't look like anyone was injured but there was a moment where it looked like a bunch of people were on the ground but it looks like they were actually just trying to nullify whatever that flash bang or if it was tear gas, they were trying to nullify it. we do see more of the officers now starting to move toward the protesters, in a flank style. as the protesters come back. we're talking about maybe 100,
150 at this point, of them, and we do see movement of them moving back and forth as some of them start to run again. the officer, they're holding a flank style position though, again, trying to, now we're starting to see, as you can see from your screen, some of the protesters lobbing something at the police officers, and what appears to be another flash bang from the officers. at this point, it is hard to tell if they're using tear gas, or just some sort of a flash bang to keep them moving. but the one thing is clear is that the officers do not want them moving past them in their position. >> this appears to be right there at santa clarita and eighth. we will confirm that. we believe it is right there at santa clara and eighth. not far from the history lk library at the san jose campus. and many protesters are coming up to the police line. we will see more of this, once
they get close together, to fire those bean bags or the flash-bangs, and to use tear gas. we've seen that happen in other cities just in these last 48 hours. so that's what you're looking at here. not exactly clear why, they want to prevent them from going to the other direction though, it could be, if they're headed to 101, as damian trujillo was saying, they want to make sure they keep those on-ramps and on-ramps from santa clara street on to 101 because they don't want the freeway any more congested than it already is. so now, you're seeing a lot of people there, gathering around, after what we saw in that initial flashpoint, about two minutes ago from the sky ranger. a lot of objects being thrown towards the police officers and now slowly they're marching down, again, this is santa clara street, excuse me, santa clara and seventh street from what we understand, which is very close to the san jose state campus, and the mlk library and the officers are marching them toward, we believe, back toward downtown. so therefore, away from 101,
back toward downtown and we will verify all of that from our crews on the ground. and it was downtown where the other group of protesters are at this moment. looks to me about 100 or 200 protester at city hall. so just a few blocks from where this police line is, is the other more concentrated group of protesters. as we pull out now from our nbc bay area sky ranger, you get a better sense of the neighborhood here. santa clara and seventh there. near downtown san jose. and that is seventh street. i can see that, if i can see that right, if that does say seventh street. >> that does say seventh street. >> that is heading toward downtown and that seems to be the strategy from san jose police, just to keep everyone toward downtown and away from 101. we will get to the reporters on the ground in a moment. are you seeing that, jessica? >> we do. and there was a car trying to get through, that car was like a black suv that was kind of caught in that whole middle there, that car had made a turn
and is no longer there. it looks right now like the majority of the protesters have moved away from the officer, but there is a definitely group there, standing with their arms changed together, in solidarity. standing in opposition to the police officer, as the officers continued to walk up santa clara, and then we're seeing the officers there, asking them to disburse. some of the officers moving a little closer and then coming back. but a lot of the protesters that at one point we saw maybe 100 gathered there, they have seemed to move back, across to the other street. i can't see the street, presumably it may be eighth. but we apologize. we just lost our signal there. we're going to another area here. this is not live. this is video from earlier when we saw some of those protesters, amassing in those streets, this looks like the area where we were earlier, this seems to be after they got off the freeway, this was the position much
earlier when traffic was completely at a stop, and this again is what we saw much earlier today, when damian trujillo was in this exact location, raj, remember, when we saw all of those patrol cars, we're giving a look at all of the different visuals that have transpired throughout the day, and some of the, you know, heated exchanges in terms of property damage that we saw from some of the protesters out there. >> and sadly, some of the people caught in the middle of it on the freeway, and some of them stopped on 101, we saw some video of about four or five cars damaged, and we see about four or five police cruisers damage the. and guy bagain, we will go to oc sky ranger, a and this is 15 minutes ago, live on the air, the crowd quickly disbursing, running in different directions because of some sort of flashbang or tear gas that was spread by sjpd presumably to
clear this crowd. so the strategy seems pretty clear. get everyone away from the freeway and get them towards city hall. and santa clara and seventh is right there at city hall. not far from it. so that crowd is now congregated in one spot, and you can see them trying to take away that person who was hit by some sort of projectile there or object. we go back out now to live pictures from our nbc bay area sky ranger, and you can see, one man there, a few people there, just right there, along with the police line. for the most part, there have not been any arrests that we have been told yet and we've spoken with two members of the chp, and so far, no arrests. and their strategy is pretty straightforward. they want everyone to be safe. whether it is the pd, the police officer, the chp, the sheriffs, and the protesters. they want everyone to be safe. they will allow everyone's voice to be heard. and that's the heart of all of this. how they're protesting, what people are doing in the bay area and across the country, that can be debated.
but what they're protesting certainly can't be. they're certainly protesting the anger, not just the black community, but any community of color, and even the white community. >> now we have an altercation. that man came very close to and all of a sudden, we do have an allocation. up until now, police officers were using flashbangs, not tear gas, and they're not wearing their breathing apparatus, but one man came close, and then that person has been taken down by police officers. >> and the goal here now is to just make this a one-off just to isolate this man and put him aside and hopefully it doesn't escalate. >> to mitigate as much as possible. we've seen the crowd moving back and forth. you saw the officers moving forward and they continue to use those flashbangs to kind of move the crowd in one direction. and that man came very, very close to the officer, and i'm not even sure if he actually touched him or not, but it did appear like he did and that's when that officer reacted, and it looks like he is being arrested at this point, as we
continue to see more water bottles or objects lobbed at the police officers. the officers have been trying to move everyone back but there are those protesters, you can see a woman right now, getting very, very close to the police officer there, and actually having some sort of very heated exchange with that officer. so this is a tenuous situation. >> you can see the anger there for so many people. and that man, from our vantage point, did indeed run right at the officers. they did what they needed to do to neutralize him and take him away. and the goal would be of course, not to have other people physically come at the officers. there is plenty of raw emotion and people can certainly say what they want to say but the officers don't want any more physical -- >> we are seeing a very close exchange between this woman in the shorts and the officers. she continues to go kind of into the boundary of where the officers are. she has her hand up in
solidarity. which is very, very close to the officers. the majority of the people though have moved away. right now, we're only looking at, maybe a dozen people that are within that very close boundary of this police officer. the rest of the crowd has either moved to the side, raj, or we can see a much larger crowd, that has moved further away from the officers, and this seems to be just a small group of people that are engaging in very close face-off with the police officers. >> usually the case, from the protests in the bay area, or anywhere in the country, or the world, the bulk of the people are protesting peacefully, out of the camera shot, but it is right there, within about ten yards of that line of police officers, where they're dangerously close to getting in a physical altercation, and most of them seem to be saying something, screaming, or saying something very passionate to the officers there, but if we pulled out our nbc bay area sky ranger
at some point, you can see them shooting the flash bangs there, jessica, as we pull out, out of the scene, you can see a couple hundred people at a safer distance. not necessarily safe, but a safer distance than those four to five, it looks to be ladies there, that are right up on the police line. >> yes, definitely they've moved back. you know, what is interesting about looking at the protest, raj, you and i have covered so many of this, a lot of the protests that we've seen before, we've seen a lot of the folks, this does not fit that profile at all. we're looking at what is just, you know, nonorganized group of protesters, individuals that have come out, moved by what's happened, to kind of express themselves, and their feelings about what is happening across the country, but it's definitely a different tenor of protests than what we've seen other times before. >> especially in the bay area. we want to bring up the antifa
protest, the other more formal organized protest. many of the protesters, we know this, we've covered them for so many years, don't live in the kbhunts that they protest, they are coming from out of town, from various parts of california or the bay area, different parts of the region. so far from what we're gathering with these protests everywhere around the country in the last 48 hours, they are actually community members. going out there, with the front door, maybe a few block, maybe a couple mile, but these are just frustrated, angry community members and it goes back to the conversation that we had jessica, with the representative of the naacp, not the violence but he wants to see people rising up because they are sick and tired of what's been happening to the black community, and what happened on memorial day, next to that police cruiser, in minneapolis, was the final straw, and so many people in the black community say, they have said it is the final straw, many straws ago and they want their voices to be
heard, and if it takes shutting down a freeway, or blocking streets, or blocking traffic, then that is what it is going to take. according to many leaders in the black community. >> a much more organic feel to this protest. again, now, we're seeing maybe about half a dozen of those protesters that are facing off with the police officers, you can see now, live from sky ranger that we have a better vantage point, you have a flank of about 14 police officers now receiving backup from some motorcycle officers as well. and then that flank of protesters in front of them, although that is starting to fill up with more of the protesters moving forward, at some point, at one point raj we were only looking at those women and ner man and it seems more people are coming forward just as more police officers are arriving for backup for this central flank of police
officers. i think i counted them, i think there are 16 across the way there. in a formation. we've seen them continuously moving the crowd back. using flashbangs and then we saw that one altercation when the man came up, very close, appeared to shove a police officer, the police officer had his baton out and that's when that person was taken down. >> right there, it is the seventh and santa clara, and you notice when all of the police officers arrived on the motorcycles there, that was about ten minutes after that altercation with that man and the police officers, and obviously they radioed in for some backup, for some help and immediately those officers have arrived. really forming a wall here. and this seems like this is where we're going to want it to be this is where they want to contain everyone, near city hall, within a couple of blocks. in fact, there is a business right there. we won't say the name of the business. they are a little uncomfortable with us sharing the name but we will tell you, they told us, we got off the phone with us, there is a business at the street corner, the liquor store, they
are holed up inside, they have locked their doors and the employees and maybe even some of the customers in there have just kind of holed up inside, in fear that they might get hurt or their property might be damaged, but right now, it appears that mostly what we've seen, in minneapolis, for the last couple of night, any property damage but a lot of upset and angry people with what they saw of george floyd in minneapolis, protesting their freedom of speech and their right to protest and organize in a peaceful way and that's what the police officers want to, do make sure the police officers stay peaceful. >>@and not far from city hall. they're just around the corner from city hall at this point. this group of protesters. we haven't seen the group of protesters that were outside of city hall in a little bit because we've been focusing on this. but presumably, that group is still there. because this group hasn't grown any larger from when we started watching this maybe about 19 minutes ago. this group started escalating, and this whole situation here started escalating, just as we
started the ak news. so we've been focused here. but earlier, we showed another group of a couple of hundred people, at least, outside of city hall, some of them with mare bodies on the grown, with their, you know, making a flank there. and we just had a little glimpse of another car, trying to divert from this area. kind of getting caught in this whole area. but it is, you know, it is just an odd thing to see, and now they've brought some sort of, it looks like a grocery cart in. put a sign on it, and we don't know what's going to happen. >> well, these are the beginning stages, from what we've seen other stages of them wanting to light a fire. they will gather a bunch of things in the middle and light a fire. you mentioned city hall. that is about a block away from here. sixth and santa clara. about, forgive me on my knowledge here, city hall, sixth and santa clara, and this is
seventh and santa clara so presumably that group walked down the block to join this group and most of them are peaceful and gathering, and it's the five to six to seven people right along the police line that are the concern right now. at least for the police officers and right there, in the intersection, people are throwing things in the middle, hopefully not lighting anything on fire. let's bring in the mayor now of san jose, i believe we have him on the line. mayor ricardo, thank you for joining us, raj and jessica here, can you tell us what you're seeing? we see a gathering right near city hall. can you tell us where you are and what your plan is in these next couple of hours? >> yes, we have a clear view of santa clara and seventh street right now where the standoff appears to be, and everyone seems to be keeping their cool and we hope it remains that way, we don't want anyone hurt certainly. >> mayor, you have been very honest with us for so many years, just on the emotional side of running a city, the biggest city in the bay area, do
you understand just the raw emotions of the people in the street, and the people watching at home, based on what happened in minneapolis? >> well, i certainly appreciate there's a lot of anger, and that outrage is appropriate, as a response to the atrocity in minneapolis, and certainly sadness over the needless loss of life, george floyd, that george floyd horribly experienced and i don't think there is a single police officer in our department that doesn't feel that was atrocious. and i think we need to recognize in the city that we're united in our outrage. >> mayor, this is jessica, let's talk a little bit about what we're looking at right now, we see police officers flanked, police officers, what is the position right now from your leadership, and from eddie garcia's leadership, in terms of how they want to continue to
handle this protest, so that we, people feel satisfied that their voices are heard, but also, the police officers don't feel endangered? >> yes, the police department is taking a very measured approach. we want to make sure we facilitate peaceful protests. protest is always appropriate. and when dealing with a situation like this one, but they can't tolerate any violence, they can't tolerate damage to our city, and as you probably saw earlier, there was an unlawful assembly order issued because of the damage going on and the violence tends to be the next flight and they're doing everything they can to disburse the crowd so there won't be any kind of concerted violence. >> mayor, let me pivot here for a moment because we have been sheltered at home for the last 11 weeks now and one of the big concerns in santa clara county
is trying to keep the spread of covid-19, and yet here we are, we see many of these protesters out here, not wearing masks, we see groups bunched together, obviously, passions are very high, but your level of concern to have something happen right now, as this pandemic is happening? >> well, as a community, we've been united in dealing with the pandemic, and i've been so heartened by the response of the community. in so many ways, we had over 3,000 volunteers take time just to deliver food, i mean there are so many ways that people have stepped up and you hate to see that undermined by what might happen today, and so the good news is right now, people are keeping their cool, and we want them to keep their cool, and certainly my hope that everyone goes home tonight without any harm. >> mayor liccardo, we saw last night in minneapolis, for the most part early on, people were keeping their cool but then
there was a fine line when they got destructive. at what point do you determine, you and the chief of police, eddie garcia, determine that they crossed the line and you need to step in using force. >> i should be very clear, that i look at what happens on the street, because the police officers know what they're doing, the chief knows what he's doing and they train for this every day and i don't get involved with their decision making. i know they will take a very measured approach. the chief is very committed to constitutional policing and make sure we attack life. >> one second here. mayor liccardo, we have to interrupt you for a moment, what we're looking at on the screen, i don't know if you can see that, and a woman what has been in a verbal aggressiveness toward the police officers, a face-off i should say is now being arrested by the police officers, she is not resisting, so it seems to be a peaceful
arrest. but there have been, as we're watching here on sky ranger a woman that was one of those people that was very close to the frank of the police officers has been arrest and we start to see police officers on the move. do you have any idea at this point, i know it is very early, of how many people have been arrested, and what kind of, you know, at this point, how long police will be able to continue to keep a peaceful protest. >> i don't have any good data on how many have been arrested at this point. obviously, it is fast-changing environment. but but the department is prepared to be out here as long as they need to be to ensure that we can disburse the crowd in a peaceful way, that everyone has had an opportunity to protest peacefully, and nobody is pushing to get this in any way resolved instantly, because
we know provocation can incite violence and i think what you're seeing obviously in the situation in seventh street, they need to clear the crowd, because there has been some confrontation, i think throughout the rest of the city, and we're going to be taking a more type of role to allow people to protest and staying out there as long as we need to. >> mayor, just to clarify, you are at your office in city hall, up there on one of the high floors, and is the other members of the city council, or city leaders also at city hall right now? >> i couldn't tell you who else is here. but i'm certainly here with a few of our members of the team. >> if you don't mind, we will continue to check back in with you throughout this evening. but thank you for your insight on this. and all of your comments about how your city is zealing wideal these protests that are happening with these protests happening nationwide on this friday night. >> thanks, raj. thank you, jessica. >> you've heard the mayor giving aus lowdown of what is happening with the perspective of city
hall and the police department. we are going to stay on the air for a while to continue to cover this. "nbc nightly news" normally starts at 5:30 but we're going to continue, because of the magnitude of what's going on here. we're just going to continue our coverage, raj. as we continue to watch here, and assess the situation, alongside with the rest of the viewers. >> i think a few things to keep in mind here, how is that traffic on 101, has it been reopened, is it still a bottleneck, where are these protesters going to be allowed to, go right now they're essentially at city hall where mayor liccardo and in fact, he said he can see them out of his window and also how long will they be allowed tonight. we know when the sun dips down and the nightfall, it gets a little tricky sometimes historically covering so many protests that we have, things get tricky, will they lay fires or will it remain relatively peaceful. and so far it has been relatively peaceful from what we've seen on 101 and santa
clara street heading to downtown san jose. and there are protests scheduled tonight in oakland. in an hour from now, we could have dualing protests, one in san jose, and one in oakland. jessica? >> thank you. what we're looking at now, is, we're going to transition right here, we want to give you a kind of a ground view, so you can get a better perspective of what this looks like on the ground. you can see the officers right there, and again, this is at seventh street, the location that we've been showing you from above, but now, we're giving you a vantage point so that you can see the police officers, and you can also see those protesters much closer. you can see the police officers there, they are wearing masks. they are not wearing tear gas masks. they're just wearing regular masks and regular type of helmets. but you can see just how close some of these protesters and these officers are, in that flank that we've been seeing now, for about an hour.
and then you can also see on the side, another group of police officers, and some of those streets closed off. >> we're going to take a look at some video now, of an incident in just a moment, we'll get to it, in about an incident where an officer might have been hurt. we'll get to that as soon as we get the video in the house.