.Photo: ‘Barbaric’ Protest Hoax Draws Police Attention in Watsonville

A crew from KDC Construction boarded up windows at Starbucks in the Overlook Center on Main Street in Watsonville Thursday, June 4, at noon in response to rumors of planned looting and vandalism on social media.

On Wednesday and Thursday, a poster circulated on the internet announcing a “barbaric protest” at the Overlook Center, made to look as if it had been created by activists who have been organizing in response to the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

The image was widely denounced as a hoax almost immediately. On Thursday, a caller reported to the Watsonville police that five men dressed in black and carrying bags of bricks were headed for the shopping center. Police investigated and found the call to be a hoax.  

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Tarmo Hannula
Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. He also reports on a wide range of topics, including police, fire, environment, schools, the arts and events. A fifth generation Californian, Tarmo was born in the Mother Lode of the Sierra (Columbia) and has lived in Santa Cruz County since the late 1970s. He earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz and has traveled to 33 countries.
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