OAKDALE (CBS13) — In response to protests throughout the area, Stanislaus County declared a State of Emergency on Wednesday.

The move allows the county to apply for state and federal funding for law enforcement efforts.

A large but mostly peaceful protest over the death of Minnesota man George Floyd attracted hundreds of people to Oakdale on Wednesday in front of the Gene Bianchi Community Center.

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Two groups of protesters took to different sides of the street in Oakdale. On one side they chanted “Trump 2020” and “All Lives Matter” while on the other side protesters yelled George Floyd’s name and “Black Lives Matter.” The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office and police officers stood guard in between the opposing sides.

Just after 2:30 p.m., after about an hour or so of yelling the protestors collided and we saw someone jump into the car of another protestor and a fight broke out.

According to police, a convertible drove by and a person threw an object at protesters. A protester then punched a passenger in the vehicle, police said, and a fight broke out as officers got involved.

Law enforcement then fired flash bangs and rubber bullets. Protesters were seen running from the area.

A young girl was hit with something and seen on the ground bleeding on the street. She is expected to be okay, but it’s still not clear how exactly she got hurt.

Around 3 p.m., the police department posted on their Facebook page the protest had been declared an unlawful assembly, and the crowd was dispersed.

The protesters have since cleared out and some told CBS13 they were heading to Modesto to bring their protest there.

Police said three people were arrested, including the man who punched the passenger. Two officers suffered minor injuries.

On Thursday, Oakdale police issued a follow-up statement and said one person, Brandon Gray, was released after officers learned he was not an instigator in the fight.

Police said 33-year-old Nicholas Gonzales and 20-year-old Joseph Lutz were both charged in connection to the “violent outburst.” According to police, Gonzales punched the passenger and Lutz assaulted of officers.

“While we expect to see additional peaceful demonstrations as we have seen throughout this week, we do not expect demonstration to turn to violence unless instigated by outside influencers,” said Sheriff Jeff Dirkse in a statement about the declaration.

Law enforcement officials have stressed they support peaceful protests, but will be ready to act if any problems arise.

“We support the right to free speech and will provide a safe environment for everyone’s voices to be heard. I also want to assure our community that we are ready and prepared for any unforeseen circumstances or any last-minute changes,” said Oakdale Police Chief Scott Heller in a statement on Tuesday ahead of the protest.

Nearby Sacramento County proclaimed a local State of Emergency on Tuesday in the wake of civil unrest.

Marissa Perlman

Comments (4)
  1. Tim says:

    The protesters never should have been there. They were bused in to instigate trouble!
    Oakdale has always been a small peaceful town and who ever organized the protest and arranged the buses should be in jail!

  2. JG says:

    This is just amazing that violence would come to Oakdale. It has always been a peaceful place. This is a rare occurrence for the place where I grew up. I pray it will not happen again. Violence does not lead to anything, We can listen to disagreements and agreements equally with respect and dignity. Thanks to the officers present to help maintain this situation. It is a shame someone was physically hurt, how many more people need to suffer over the reason for the joining and “protest”.

  3. S.G. says:

    Everytime I drove through that little town I always got the feeling it was racist little town and now it confirms my feeling. Oakdale is a racist little town.

  4. Larry Bean says:

    Antifa is responsible for the violence. The protesters should have been arrested for violating the order to do social distancing.

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