Police protests blocks Highway 880

The California Highway Patrol issued a Sig-alert for Interstate Highway 880 in Oakland Thursday night after a large group of protesters demonstrating against police violence shut down the roadway in both directions.

A large protest gathered at Frank Ogawa Plaza around 7 p.m. in response to the fatal police shootings of Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota.

An unspecified number of demonstrators were moving north on Broadway around 7:25 p.m., according to police. By 8:38 p.m. they had gathered on Highway 880 near the Broadway exit.

The CHP issued a Sig-alert for both directions of Highway 880 around 9:10 p.m., asking drivers to use alternate routes. Big-rigs have been given permission to use Interstate Highway 580 on a temporary basis.

Protesters at the scene described the police presence at tonight’s demonstration as minimal, but a group of officers had massed outside the police station around 10:10 p.m. in response to a damaged door.

As of 10:55 p.m. Oakland police said the crowd had dwindled to roughly 500 people, and that CHP officers were “managing the incident on the freeway.”