On June 1, 2020 at 12:00PM, numerous people began to gather on Old Court House Square (OCHS) to protest police brutality. Over several hours, the group grew to approximately 300 people and was mostly peaceful. At approximately 1:00PM, the group marching throughout downtown, and eventually northbound on Mendocino Av. The group conducted several “sit-in’s” at varies locations. Each sit-in was for approximately nine minutes. The protesters stopped at Steele Lane, then made their way back to OCHS. After a short break, the protesters conducted a second march. The second march used a similar route as the first march.
There was one incident during the second march. It was reported that a male driver pointed a gun a protesters. Through SRPD’s investigation, it was determined that one unknown juvenile male protester tried to steal items from the back of a pickup truck. The driver confronted the protesters and the juvenile male hit the driver in the head with a skateboard. The driver threatened to assault anyone who tried to steal from him and left the area. Several protesters and the driver were all contacted during the investigation. The juvenile suspected of assaulting the driver was never located. No firearm was actually produced and no protesters claimed to be a victim of anything related to this incident.
At approximately 5:15 PM, a group of protesters went onto the northbound lanes of Highway 101, south of Steele Lane. CHP quickly arrived on scene and asked protesters to leave the freeway. When several protesters refused to disperse, six people were arrested by CHP. The remainder of the group marched back to OCHS.
At 6:30 PM, approximately 215-300 protesters marched throughout Downtown, through Railroad Square, then back to OCHS. This group was a mixture of juveniles and adults, but more confrontational with law enforcement and passing vehicles. Several protesters damaged barriers that were placed near OCHS. Each barrier was used to protect protesters from sideshows and other passing vehicles.
At 8:00 PM, when the curfew went into effect, 50 people stayed at OCHS. One vehicle drove through barriers and began doing donuts in the intersection of Third Street and Santa Rosa Av. At 8:20PM, while SRPD was prepping to disperse the growing group, their numbers increased to approximately 150-200 people and they started walking northbound on Mendocino Ave. The group momentarily stopped in the intersection of College Ave and Mendocino Ave, before continuing northbound on Mendocino Ave, blocking all lanes of traffic.
By 9:00PM, the group lined Amory Drive and threatened to go back onto northbound Highway 101. After 15-20 minutes, the group moved to Morgan St and College Ave and took over all lanes of traffic, where several subjects threw bottles at officers. The group then began walking back toward downtown, blocking numerous intersections and damaging additional safety barricades. The group ultimately returned to Old Court House Square.
Once at Old Court House Square (10:00PM), several cars went through barricades and began driving erratically and doing donuts in the intersections of Third Street at Santa Rosa Ave and Fourth Street at Mendocino Ave. Groups began to separate and scatter throughout downtown, ultimately regrouping in the intersection of Mendocino Ave and College Ave. People were no longer carrying signs, chanting or protesting, but rather began throwing rocks and breaking windows of businesses on College Ave. Additionally, people threw rocks and bottles at officers, patrol vehicles, and passing citizen vehicles.
At 10:53PM, SRPD gave numerous dispersal orders for the unlawful gathering. Subjects continued to be non-compliant. Over the next hour, the Santa Rosa Police Department, with the assistance of numerous other allied agencies dispersed the crowd and made 27 arrests. Of the arrests, 17 adults were arrested and 10 juveniles. 26 of the arrestees were from Santa Rosa and one was from Petaluma.
One of the arrests was of Francisco Javier Orozco, a 30-years-old Santa Rosa resident. He was arrested downtown for shooting business windows with a pellet gun. He was arrested for the below charges and later booked into the Sonoma County Jail. No one was injured by Orozco’s actions.
594(b)(1) PC – Vandalism (Felony)
246.3(a) PC – Discharge Firearm in a Negligent Manner
1203.2 PC – Violation of Probation
The Santa Rosa Police Department is committed to protecting our community, our citizen’s right to assemble & protest, and our officers in the field. It is our hope that any future protests will be peaceful, allowing all citizens the opportunity to have their voices heard in a safe space.
We encourage anyone who witnessed criminal activity to immediately call and report the activity to the police department at (707) 528-5222. For media inquiries, please contact Lieutenant Jeneane Kucker at (707) 543-3573 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.