Tuesday Morning News Roundup

Dozens Detained In Protest On San-Mateo Hayward Bridge

Dozens of protesters have been detained after making their way on the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge late Monday afternoon that closed lanes for nearly two hours, snarling the evening commute, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The group made their way on eastbound and westbound lanes of state Highway 92 on the bridge at the high-rise around 4:50 p.m., CHP Officer Daniel Hill said.

The protesters had been dropped off by cars on westbound lanes and briefly made their way to both sides of the freeway, he said.

As of shortly after 5 p.m., eastbound lanes were reopened for motorists heading to Hayward but westbound lanes were still closed off for cars traveling to Foster City, Van Eckhardt said.

There were 30 CHP patrol units sent to the bridge to clear the protesters, Van Eckhardt said.

Around 5:15 p.m., the far left lane on the westbound side was reopened to traffic, CHP officials said.

The group was given the opportunity to leave the scene peacefully, but 68 people who didn’t comply with orders from officers were detained, Hill said.

As of about 6:10 p.m., the arrested protesters were still on the bridge waiting to be transported to San Mateo County Jail, according to Hill.

They are expected to face charges of disobeying a lawful order of a peace officer and obstructing the free movement of others, Hill said.

The protesters were peaceful and did not become violent, according to Hill.

Two other westbound lanes remain closed until 6:40 p.m. but traffic remained heavy on the bridge, CHP officials said.

Thousands Of Protesters March From Fruitvale To Coliseum To Reclaim MLK Day

Thousands of people gathered at Oakland’s Fruitvale BART station Monday morning in what they called an effort to reclaim the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., and show solidarity with protest movements in Ferguson, Missouri and around the world.

“We want to honor Dr. Martin Luther King and the legacy of black resistance in this country in the only way we know how to do so – through direct action in the streets,” said Armael Malinis, a musician with the group Mass Bass who spoke to the crowd just before the march began.

The start of the march was peaceful, and organizer Cat Brooks urged demonstrators to be respectful of the neighborhood they were marching through. Nearby residents interviewed along the way said they succeeded in that regard.

Activists from numerous organizations marched from the Fruitvale BART station to the Coliseum area early Monday afternoon to advocate on a wide variety of issues, including the intersection of police violence and institutional racism.

Mostly, the group’s message was that black lives matter. With recent movements gaining momentum in the wake of the officer-involved shooting that killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, they said they intend to continue demonstrating for as long as it takes.

Christopher Higgenbotham, a black leader with the East Bay Organizing Committee, said he came to raise awareness about police violence, economic inequality and the impacts of gentrification in Oakland.

Janero Baltrip was demonstrating for jobs, not jails, and fewer instances of police brutality. Baltrip said recent protest movements are making progress, but that change doesn’t happen overnight.

Rheema Calloway, with grassroots group Causa Justa, came to advocate for an end to state violence, gentrification and criminalization.

She’s also concerned with the lack of housing available to Bay Area residents as prices continue to rise.

She called recent developments in the region’s real estate market a kind of strategic genocide, with people of color being pushed out of their longtime communities in San Francisco into ghettoized areas of the East Bay.

Alicia Garza, a founding member of the organization Black Lives Matter, said that protesters are making progress. And they’re just getting started.

This movement has created space for new groups within the black community to step up into leadership roles, Garza said. She was not concerned, however, with recent criticism about white protesters co-opting the Black Lives Matter banner.

At 3:19 p.m., the Oakland Police Department said in a Nixle alert that a large crowd was gathering at the Coliseum BART station, and that the size of the crowd had begun to impact traffic.

A largely peaceful crowd of about 1,500 people walked between the Fruitvale and Coliseum BART stations, police spokeswoman Johnna Watson said.

No arrests were made and no citations were issued, she said.

Around 3:50 p.m., BART officials announced the station’s was closed due to a civil disturbance associated with Monday’s march and reopened around 4:30 p.m.

Thousands Take To The Streets Today To Advocate For Civil Rights Championed By MLK Jr.

Thousands of people, including Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, gathered in San Francisco Monday to honor the civil rights legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and to continue his fight for racial equality.

People from around the Bay Area came into San Francisco Monday to participate in a parade and to greet the Freedom Train as it made its final 54-mile trip from San Jose after 30 years.

Freedom Train riders and parade participants comprised of individuals, families with small children, and various community groups, were out championing civil rights and racial equality while paying tribute to King.

The crowd gathered at the San Francisco Caltrain station at Fourth and King streets around 11 a.m. and greeted roughly 1,400 people aboard the Freedom Train, which was coordinated by the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Association of Santa Clara Valley.

Organizers announced that this was the last year for the Freedom Train in the Bay Area, despite selling all 1,400 available seats on board.

The train left Caltrain’s Diridon Station in San Jose at about 9:45 a.m. on the holiday celebrating King’s birthday, Caltrain spokesman Will Reisman said.

The trip was one of about 30 Freedom trains run across the country started by King’s late widow Coretta Scott King after his assassination in 1968 to commemorate the 54 miles marched by her husband and other civil rights activists in Alabama.

The historic 54-mile walk from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in March 1965 helped spur the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

The San Jose-San Francisco Freedom train is the last of its kind in the nation since the Bay Area train began operating 30 years ago, Reisman said.

Bayard Fong, a contract compliance officer who works for the city’s contract monitoring division, took to the streets Monday along with members of the Human Rights Commission, as he does most years on King’s birthday.

Also in the parade Monday was Dolores Piper, a South San Francisco resident who held a sign to commemorate her nephew, 15-year-old Derrick Gaines Jr., who was shot at close range by a police officer in 2012.

Piper said she was Gaines’ legal guardian and raised him since he was a baby. She said following Gaines’ death she was reeling with pain and came out Monday to stand in solidarity with those who have lost their own children to police brutality.

The parade ended at Yerba Buena Gardens with a ceremony hosted by the San Francisco Interfaith Council and featuring House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, as well as local elected officials and numerous religious leaders.

All-Clear Given On Plane At Ny From Sfo After Suspected Bomb Threat

An all-clear has been given after a suspected bomb threat on a Delta Airlines flight that departed from San Francisco International Airport and landed at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York on Monday, a spokesman said.

Delta Airlines flight 468 departed from SFO and landed at JFK Airport around 7:40 p.m. EST, which is 4:40 p.m. PST, according to Jon Pentangelo, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

About 200 passengers on the plane had boarded off, he said.

A K-9 search was conducted on the aircraft and baggage before the all-clear was given as of 10:21 p.m. EST, which is 7:21 p.m. PST, Pentangelo said.

Pentangelo did not know the source of the alleged threat, which remains under investigation, he said.

Port Authority spokesman Ron Marsico said the plane was cleared without incident.

The plane had departed from SFO shortly before noon Monday and was scheduled to depart from New York for Tel Aviv, Isarel, an airport duty manager said.

No further details were immediately available.

A request for comment from Delta Airlines was not immediately returned Monday evening.

Man Who Shot Himself, Remained Armed As Swat Officers Arrived, Dies This Afternoon

A man who shot himself Monday morning in South San Jose and remained alive and armed, prompting police to deploy SWAT officers and evacuate nearby residents, died that afternoon, a police spokeswoman said.

Police received a call at 10:50 a.m. about a shot heard at an apartment complex at 1133 Carlsbad Drive in the Almaden area of the city near Almaden Expressway and Pioneer High School, San Jose police Sgt. Heather Randol said.

When officers got to the scene, the wounded man still had a gun in his hand, Randol said.

SWAT officers arrived and the residents living close to the scene were told to leave, Randol said.

Officers decided to take a careful approach in dealing with the man, she said.

The man was pronounced dead at 2:50 p.m., she said.

More Than 150 Seabirds Found In Sticky Substance, 25 Killed

A sticky and unidentified substance has killed 25 birds in the East Bay since Friday and is threatening more than 150, an animal shelter official said Monday.

As of Sunday evening, there were 179 birds coated in the mysterious substance but animal rescue experts said they don’t know what the coating is.

“We have not seen this type of substance before and tests have shown it is not petroleum-based,” Barbara Callahan, International Bird Rescue executive director, said in a statement on Saturday.

Staff from the East Bay Regional Park District notified the nonprofit late Friday of many birds covered in the material, bird rescue officials said.

The birds were found at multiple sites on land and water in the East Bay including Crab Cove Visitor Center in Alameda, Hayward Regional Shoreline and at the San Leandro Marina, according to the nonprofit.

Collection teams also found birds in the substance near the Bay Farm Island Shoreline Trail in Alameda, nonprofit officials said.

Surf Scoters, Buffleheads, Horned Grebes and Common Goldeneyes were among the types of seabirds being treated by the nonprofit at its Fairfield wild rescue center.

“Our staff veterinarian and wildlife rehabilitation team is working overtime to ensure all birds transported to us receive optimal emergency care,” Callahan said.

Nonprofit officials have described the substance as “vicious,” similar to petroleum, and clear to pale in color. The substance breaks down a bird’s feather structure, preventing the animal from regulating its body temperature in the Bay Area’s cold water, resulting in hypothermia or death.

Animal shelter staff has not determined if the material is toxic but officials said staff is using the same safety precautions they would use to treat animals from an oil spill.

On Saturday, staff members coated feather samples with the substance but were unable to remove it.

On Sunday they have had some success in washing the contaminated birds with baking soda, vinegar, a pre-treatment solution and Dawn dishwashing liquid, which is used on birds in need of treatment after oil spills, Callahan said.

“The good news is that we have modified our wash protocol and it appears to be working on healthier birds,” Callahan said Monday.

On Monday, the team with the nonprofit expected to wash about 40 to 60 of the seabirds and predicted they would receive more covered in the substance, Callahan said.

“However, some of the birds that have recently arrived are in much poorer condition, likely because they’ve had this substance on their feathers for several days now,” she said.

The seabirds must receive a week’s worth of care before they are considered for release, she said.

Two Contract Workers Encountered Armed Man Later Killed By Police

Two contract workers scrambled to avoid a 48-year-old man armed with a knife before he was fatally shot by Fremont police last week, police said Monday.

The Alameda County coroner’s bureau identified the man as Hayward resident Zaki Shinwary.

Around 2 p.m., Shinwary approached a 54-year-old man standing by a car on Great Salt Lake Court, near Sylvester Harvey Park, then screamed and made stabbing motions, police said.

The man yelled for help, backed away and tried to hide behind a tree but Shinwary continued to follow him, according to police.

The man’s screams were heard by his co-worker, a 21-year-old man, who exited a nearby home and saw Shinwary with the knife, according to police.

When Shinwary caught sight of the co-worker, he yelled and walked towards him, police said.

Shinwary started running towards the 21-year-old man, who ran away and took cover behind a car, police said.

While hiding, the 21-year-old caught the attention of a resident across the street and told her to call police.

Meanwhile Shinwary walked to Great Salt Lake Drive and told the 21-year-old man he was coming back, police said.

Police dispatch were notified of the incident shortly after 2 p.m. when they received a report of a male walking down the street pointing a knife at people.

The first arriving officer spotted Shinwary walking across Lake Arrowhead Avenue into the park, prompting him to turn on his patrol car’s emergency lights and siren, police said. Two sergeants arrived to the scene a short time later.

Shinwary turned around and started walking towards the officer’s patrol car that was stopped next to a sidewalk on the south side of the park, police said.

Shinwary was seen yanking at his clothing and he appeared to look for an item from his jacket pocket while his hands were concealed from the officer.

The officer stepped out of the patrol car, drew his firearm and ordered Shinwary to stop moving and put up his hands, police said.

Shinwary did not follow the orders, pulled a knife from his clothing and made his way to the officer, who in return fired his weapon, police said.

At the same time, the sergeant armed with the Taser discharged his weapon at Shinwary, police said.

Emergency crews were called and Shinwary was pronounced dead at the scene, according to police.

The officer and two sergeants are on paid administrative leave, which is standard protocol following officer-involved shootings.

3 Men Injured In Suspected Gang-Related Fight With Two Male Teens

Two teen boys were arrested Sunday in a suspected gang-related fight in Gilroy where one man was stabbed and two men received head injuries, police said Monday.

At 4:07 p.m. Sunday, Gilroy police answered a report about a brawl involving a number of people in the 8300 block of Springdale Court a couple of blocks south of Leavesley Road, police Sgt. Pedro Espinoza said.

When officers arrived, they found three Gilroy men aged, 21, 23 and 32, suffering from injuries, one with a stab wound and two with head injuries, Espinoza said.

Medical personnel transported the three victims to a hospital and all were expected to survive, he said.

Police received a description of the suspects and their vehicle, a silver BMW sedan, which officers located, with the suspects inside, about two miles from the crime scene.

The boys, a 17-year-old from Gilroy and a 15-year-old from Hollister, were taken into custody on suspicion of attempted murder involving stabbing or blunt force.

From a preliminary investigation, police believe that the fight resulted from a conflict over gang affiliation and detectives from the department’s Anti-Crime Team have taken over the probe.

Anyone with information about the altercation is urged to notify Anti-Crime Team detectives at (408) 846-0350.

Weather Forecast For The San Francisco Bay Area

Skies today will be mostly cloudy in the morning and become sunny by the afternoon. Highs will be in the upper 50s with west winds of 5 to 15 mph.

Skies will be mostly clear tonight with lows in the upper 40s and northwest winds of 5 to 10 mph.

Skies will be partly cloudy Wednesday with highs around 60. Winds will be from the southeast around 5 mph in the morning and from the northwest in the afternoon.