Image Source: KRON-TV YouTube video screenshot
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Over 80 minors arrested after illegal event turns into massive riot — crowd threw fireworks, smoke bombs, glass bottles at officers; San Fran PD facing backlash for response
July 10, 2023
The San Francisco Police Department arrested more than 100 people on Saturday after an illegal event turned into a massive riot, KRON-TV reported.
The yearly, non-sanctioned skateboarding event known as the "Dolores Hill Bomb" that occurred near Dolores Park on Saturday evening devolved into a destructive, violent riot when police attempted to shut it down. The SFPD officers in riot gear arrested 32 adults and 81 minors in connection with the melee.
According to authorities, a large crowd gathered in the area shortly after 6:00 p.m. and began blocking off roads and setting off fireworks. Approximately an hour later, a male spat on a police sergeant. When the officer attempted to detain the individual, a female allegedly intervened. Police reported that the sergeant was assaulted and taken to the hospital after suffering facial lacerations.
Law enforcement reported that the crowd began throwing fireworks, smoke bombs, glass bottles, and metal cans at police officers while they were attempting to arrest two teenagers.
A MUNI light rail vehicle carrying passengers could not move because of the crowd. Rioters climbed on top of the rail vehicle and covered it in graffiti. Two more rail vehicles were also vandalized, according to SFPD.
Despite multiple attempts to disperse the crowd, people continued lighting fireworks, which ultimately ignited fires around the park. Officers in riot gear began making mass arrests.
The department's reaction to the illegal event received mixed reactions from the community. On Sunday, a crowd of demonstrators gathered in front of the police station to protest the officers' response, which they claimed was excessive, and demanded an investigation.
San Francisco Supervisor Dean Preston called the department's actions an "abuse of power." "Armed in riot gear, they issued dispersal orders, threatened tear gas, and then arrested, zip-tied and detained many children for hours," Preston said. "I'm at a loss to explain this abuse of power, waste of money, and trauma inflicted on our young people. I'm ashamed of our City leadership for this type of militarization of our streets and attack on our youth. People deserve answers."
President of the Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club Jeffrey Kwong stated, "That level of use of force is absolutely unacceptable in San Francisco. In a public park in a gathering of teenagers."
"I think it's an egregious use of force. We condemn it. We want an investigation as to who made the orders in ordering this aggressive police action," Kwong added.
SFPD Chief Bill Scott defended his officers' response.
"This dangerous and unlawful behavior put members of the public and our officers at risk of serious injury or worse. This behavior will not be tolerated in our city and I thank our officers for taking action to hold those accountable who brazenly engaged in reckless and dangerous behavior and violated the law. Thankfully, there were no serious injuries," Scott said.
Over 100 people arrested after Dolores Park riotyoutu.be
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Candace Hathaway is a staff writer for Blaze News.