Police officers in Berkeley, Calif. were forced to deploy tear gas after protests over the killings of Eric Garner and Michael Brown turned violent, authorities say. 

According to NBC News, the demonstration started on the University of of California, Berkeley's campus yesterday afternoon. NBC News adds that protesters could be heard chanting "I can't breathe," Eric Garner's last words, as well as "Turn it up, don't turn it down. Shut it down for Michael Brown": 

As hundreds of protesters began marching through downtown Berkeley, the unrest that marked protests Saturday night was touched off again as someone smashed the window of a Radio Shack. When a protester tried to stop growing vandalism, he was hit with a hammer, Officer Jennifer Coats said.

Police said groups of protesters late Sunday began roaming through the downtown area, throwing trash cans into streets and lighting garbage on fire, smashing windows on buildings, and damaging and looting businesses. There also were reports of vandalism at City Hall.

NBC News adds that protesters also blocked eastbound lanes on Highway 24. The California Highway Patrol alleges that some sort of explosive device was thrown at officers, as were pieces of concrete. Still, NBC News notes that many of the protesters were peaceful. At the time, there is no information regarding any serious injuries. 

Garner died in July after being placed in a chokehold by NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo. Last week, a Staten Island grand jury decided not to indict Pantaleo. Brown was fatally shot by Ferguson, Mo. police officer Darren Wilson in August. Three days before Thanksgiving, a St. Louis County grand jury elected not to indict Wilson.

[via NBC News]