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POSTED July 26, 2013 10:42 p.m.

OAKLAND CONSIDERS BANNING PROTEST 'VIOLENCE TOOLS' : OAKLAND  (AP) — Oakland will consider banning so-called "tools of violence" from protests, two weeks after a waiter was struck in the face with a hammer during a demonstration against the Trayvon Martin trial outcome.

The San Francisco Chronicle says the City Council will vote next week on a proposal to outlaw items such as hammers, slingshots, shields and spray-paint cans from protests. Los Angeles already has such a ban.

Last week, protesters smashed store windows and sprayed graffiti on businesses during protests over the Florida acquittal of George Zimmerman in the fatal shooting of Martin.

A similar ban was proposed to the council's Public Safety Committee last year at the height of the Occupy Oakland protests but it got nowhere after demonstrators claimed it would violate their free speech rights.

SUSPICIOUS DEVICE LEADS TO SF BAY BRIDGE CLOSURE: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Authorities temporarily shut down the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge after a suspicious device was found, snarling traffic on both sides of the crossing on a busy Friday afternoon.

Authorities were notified around 1 p.m. about the device on the Treasure Island on-ramp, California Highway Patrol Officer Sam Morgan said. The island is midway across the span.

Morgan said officials decided to close lanes and cleared all vehicles from the bridge nearly an hour later.

Authorities reopened the westbound lanes, then the eastbound side, around 3:30 p.m. when San Francisco police neutralized the threat.

No further details on the device were released.

The closure caused a ripple effect on roadways into and out of San Francisco.

Traffic is typically heavy on Fridays, but it was expected to be exacerbated by several stadium events in the region. Thousands of drivers were heading to San Francisco Giants and Oakland A's home games, and a Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake concert at Candlestick Park.

The bridge carries about 280,000 vehicles a day between San Francisco and heavily populated cities to its east.

 

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