People protest in Oakland over police-custody death of George Floyd. Image Source: IANS News

San Francisco, May 31 : A Friday night protest in US Northern California city of Oakland over the police-custody death of black man George Floyd in Minneapolis turned into a riot with dozens of protestors arrested.

The city's Police Department said in a tweet that the peaceful demonstration turned out to be an unlawful assembly and multiple officers were injured, Xinhua news agency reported.

"What we saw later on in the evening turned violent and disruptive," police chief Susan Manheimer said in a video posted on Twitter, calling on everyone who would come to Oakland to respect the memory of George Floyd not to harm "our downtown businesses, which have been suffering since the pandemic began." "That rage crossed a line. We cannot tolerate vandalism or violence in our city. Black-owned businesses in downtown, businesses in our China Town were vandalized last night. Fires were set, further compromising the health of our already scared and vulnerable populations," said Libby Schaaf, mayor of the Bay Area city of Oakland.

"We have taken decades, in fact, centuries to get here. But we are committed to not just doing the work of this moment, but the long term work to recognize that there are systems of unfairness and lack of opportunities for our black, brown, Latino, African, American, indigenous, and many of our Asian residents," Schaaf said.

"We must fight the American travesty of racism, but we must do it in a way that works," she urged, claiming that Oakland has no tolerance for acts of violence or racism.

The death of George Floyd "was about the reality that some Americans remain vulnerable and unprotected as they go about their daily lives merely on the basis of the color of their skin, decades after the civil rights movement brought laws designed to cleanse the discrimination that has haunted our nation's history since its inception," said San Francisco Chronicle in its editorial published on Saturday.

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