Two police officers hurt in skirmish at state Capitol
Occupy protesters and white supremacists clash briefly before authorities intervene.
A CHP bicycle officer was injured after tackling a protestor during a skirmish at the state Capitol in Sacramento.
(Randy Pench / Sacramento Bee / February 27, 2012)
Two police officers were injured Monday during a clash between Occupy protesters and white supremacists that spilled into the streets around the state Capitol.
Authorities said the skirmish erupted as officers escorted members of the South Africa Project to their cars after an afternoon demonstration on the south steps of the Capitol. Counter-protesters, including members of the Occupy Oakland movement, intercepted the group, hurling rocks, glass bottles and paint-filled plastic eggs.
Two California Highway Patrol officers were taken from the scene by ambulance to be treated for minor injuries, said Officer Sean Kennedy, a CHP spokesman.
Authorities said the Occupy protesters outnumbered the South Africa Project members, who were at the Capitol to draw attention to what they described as black-on-white violence in South Africa. Eyewitnesses described a chaotic scene, saying police moved quickly to contain the violence after bottles were thrown.
“It got really chaotic really fast,” said Tricia Blakeman, a member of Occupy Sacramento who was at the Capitol to protest the pro-white demonstrators. “They tackled everybody who looked like they had a bottle.”
According to the CHP, the Occupy crowd turned on law enforcement officers after the South Africa Project adherents fled in their cars. Police arrested four counter-protesters.
An hour after the skirmish started, the streets were quiet. Police had cordoned off several blocks near the Capitol, and officers in riot gear and on horseback stood at street corners to separate remaining protesters.