Hundreds take to Santa Barbara streets in Ferguson-related protest

Nov 25, 2014

Protesters gathering in Santa Barbara in reaction to the grand jury decision in Ferguson, Mo.
Credit Twitter: Agatha Bacelar @AgathaBacelar

Protests over the grand jury decision in Ferguson, Missouri earlier this week went nationwide Tuesday night, including at least one gathering on the Central Coast.

Roughly 500 people were involved at a protest in Santa Barbara according to police estimates.

Santa Barbara Police Sergeant Riley Harwood says the crowd originally formed downtown at the Courthouse Sunken Garden. The crowd then became mobile, moving down State Street and eventually toward Highway 101 at Carrillo Street.

"That was probably the tensest moment during the event, some of the protesters got rather confrontational with the officers," said Harwood. "At least one person briefly engaged in a violent confrontation by pushing some of the officers there, but what we had was basically a very well disciplined response by the officers there, they basically held a skirmish line."

Harwood says the crowd got smaller at that point, then moved toward police headquarters and eventually dispersed just before 9:00 p.m.

No arrests and no injuries were reported.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff's spokesperson Kelly Hoover says about 20 deputies assisted with crowd control and County Air Support deployed a helicopter.