California man instructed teen to toss IED at police officers during July march, police say


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A California man arrested after several police officers were injured in an explosion at a July march reportedly told authorities he gave the incendiary device to a teen and told him to throw it.

Giovanni Gaines, 23, was arrested last week for his alleged involvement in the blast, which injured 10 Oakland police officers during a July 23 march honoring Nia Wilson, Lt. James Beere said Thursday, according to the SF Gate. Wilson had been fatally stabbed at a BART station a day earlier in what initially appeared to be a racially motivated attack, though, it later emerged the suspect had mental health issues.

Police moved in to break up the rally after a group of marchers attacked a man they allegedly thought was a white nationalist, Beere said. As officers tried to de-escalate the situation, an IED suddenly flew their way. The resulting explosion injured 10 officers, including Beere, according to the SF Gate.

Police arrested a 13-year-old boy in connection with the explosion, and he reportedly confessed to tossing the device, which was described as an altered M-1000 firecracker. The teen said, however, he was given the device by an adult who instructed him to “throw it.” Beere said the teen’s account was corroborated by surveillance footage.

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“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 was arrested and booked into the Santa Rita Jail on suspicion of possessing a destructive device, a destructive device near a populated location, use of a bomb to destroy property and exploding bomb causing bodily injury, SF Gate reported, citing jail records.

He was being held on $3 million bond.

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