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Courthouse set on fire during California protest

Protesters in California set fire to a courthouse, damaged a police station, and assaulted officers after a peaceful demonstration staged late Saturday, Oakland police said.

protesters broke windows, sprayed graffiti, lighted fireworks and aimed lasers at officers, the Oakland department said on Twitter.

Several tweets called for peace and asked the organizers to “help us provide safe spaces and safe places for demonstrators.”

The protest started earlier on Saturday night with groups such as the Wall Of Moms, similar to a group formed in Portland, Oregon, when protesters faced American agents deployed in that city to guard a federal courthouse.

President Donald Trump had sent federal agents to counter protests that had taken place overnight since George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis on May 25.

The protest in Oakland started peacefully, but turned violent later in the night.

Around 11:30 a.m. local time, the police declared an “illegal meeting” and officers asked the crowd to disperse.

Close to

Police hunt protesters who refused to disperse in Oakland, California Christian Monterrosa / AP

The fire broke out at the Alameda County Superior Courthouse and was extinguished a short time later, news reports reported.

Police said demonstrators at one point “smashed windows and sang racist remarks about residents.”

Pictures tweeted by the department showed broken glass and paint at a police building.