(EL CAJON, Calif.) — Protests of a police shooting in El Cajon, California turned violent late Thursday night, with groups of people throwing bottles and other objects at police and smashing car windows.
Thursday marked the third consecutive night of protests in the city of about 100,000 in San Diego County.
The unrest first began on Tuesday, when police fatally shot an unarmed black man who they say ignored officers’ commands and assumed a “shooting stance,” after being confronted in the parking lot of a restaurant.
A group of between 50 and 75 protesters occupied an intersection on Thursday night, police said. Some of the protesters stopped passing vehicles and smashed car windows.
“At one point, an assault took place between the protesters and a motorcyclist who was knocked off of his motorcycle,” the El Cajon Police Department said in a statement.
Police said they arrived at the scene and ordered the demonstrators to disperse after they received numerous 911 calls about a disturbance.
People in the group began hurling glass bottles at officers, and the police responded with pepper balls, according to the police statement.
Police said they arrested two males, a 19-year-old and a 28-year-old, both from El Cajon.
In an interview with ABC News, El Cajon’s mayor, Bill Wells, defended the city’s police department but said he understands the frustrations people are expressing after Tuesday’s shooting.
“We have a great police department,” Wells told ABC News.
“There are a lot of people who don’t feel heard in this debate,” he added. “They feel the system is stacked against them, they feel that justice is not being done. I understand why people don’t accept that. We need a dialogue about this more and more. People are pretty upset … and I get it.”
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