November 13, 2018
If a white man targeted a group of police officers with a makeshift explosive, the word “terrorism” would be on everyone’s lips.
Not if you’re black, though.
The 23-year-old man arrested in connection with an explosive device that injured Oakland police officers during a July march had handed the device to a 13-year-old and let him do the dirty work, an Oakland police official said.
Lt. James Beere on Thursday detailed the months-long investigation that led police to suspect Giovonni Gaines, who was arrested Nov. 1.
There were two demonstrations that combined on the evening of July 23, Beere told The Chronicle. One was a march honoring the life of Nia Wilson, who had been stabbed to death on the MacArthur BART Station platform a day earlier. The second was a protest of a rumored meeting of white nationalists in downtown Oakland.
The events started out peacefully, but later erupted after a group mistakenly identified a man as a white nationalist and attacked him near 19th Street and Broadway. Officers were attempting to rescue the man and clear a path for evacuation when the explosive device was thrown in their direction, Beere said.
James Beere, one of the officers struck with shrapnel.