A 23-year-old man has been arrested in connection with an explosive device that injured Oakland police officers during a July march honoring teen Nia Wilson.
Giovanni Gaines was arrested November 1 on suspicion of multiple felonies, including possession of a destructive device, destructive device near a populated location, use of a bomb to destroy property and exploding bomb causing bodily injury, according to SFGate.
The incident took place back on the evening of July 23 when two demonstrations combined. One march was in honor of Nia Wilson, the 18-year-old who was fatally stabbed while riding a BART train. The other was a protest of a rumored meeting of white nationalists in downtown Oakland.
The events erupted into violence after a group mistakenly identified a man as a white nationalist and attacked him. As officers tried to rescue the man an explosive device was thrown in their direction, injuring 10 officers in the process.
Lt. James Beere, one of the officers injured in the attack, said police were able to get a lead for a suspect from the incident after reviewing bodycam footage and security cameras, where they found a juvenile with a “distinctive description.” The juvenile found confessed immediately after being taken into custody and said that Gaines had handed him an improvised explosive device and instructed him to “throw it.” The boy knew Gaines’ street name as well.
“This was, fortunately for us, a rudimentary IED,” Beere said. “Had it used a little bit more skill and ingenuity, it would have caused a lot more damage and serious injuries.”
Gaines is being held on $3 million bond in Santa Rita Jail and his bail hearing is scheduled for November 15.