Peaceful Protest of Trayvon Martin Verdict in Los Angeles Flares into Violence

Philip Caulfield
New York Daily News
July 16, 2013

A group of people in Los Angeles attempt to tear down a fence after attending a prayer rally Monday to protest the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial.

A peaceful protest of the Trayvon Martin verdict in Los Angeles unraveled into violence late Monday after a large group broke off and began smashing store windows, vandalizing cars and attacking bystanders, authorities said.

More than 300 LAPD cops flooded the Crenshaw district in southwest L.A. after some 150 people splintered off from a prayer vigil in Leimert Park and blazed a trail of anarchy along nearby Crenshaw Boulevard, according to local reports

Protesters jump on a pickup truck in Los Angeles on Monday.

Helicopter footage showed angry rioters jumping on cars, breaking storefront windows, setting fires in curbside trash cans and attacking bystanders, including two people sitting on a bus bench at Slauson Avenue.

Several of the rioters stormed a Wal-Mart and a mall at the Crenshaw Baldwin Hills shopping plaza, where witnesses said the goons stole merchandise, knocked down store displays and smashed furniture, local NBC4 reported.

Angry demonstrators jump on a car on Crenshaw Boulevard.

“The sounds I was hearing were plants being thrown, like the potted plants being broken on the floor…they were turning chairs over, they were throwing down garbage cans – whatever was moveable in the mall they were turning it over,” one witness told local NBC4.

Among those targeted by violence were a TV reporter and a cameraman from a local CBS station. One of the journalists suffered a concussion in the attack and was taken to a local hospital, The Los Angeles Times reported.

At around 10 p.m., cops officially declared the gathering an unlawful assembly and most of the streets were cleared within the hour, according to local reports. At least 13 people were arrested on charges ranging from vandalism to assault.

Demonstrators hold placards and shout slogans while marching in Los Angeles on Monday. Local leaders and civil rights activists urged participants to remain peaceful as they express frustration with the trial’s outcome.
At least 13 people were arrested on charges of vandalism and assault.  Read more: At least 13 people were arrested on charges of vandalism and assault.
At least 13 people were arrested on charges of vandalism and assault.
LAPD officers in riot gear detain a man after disturbances in the streets around Leimert Park following a prayer vigil protesting the acquittal of George Zimmerman. Since the verdict was announced thousands across the nation have protested the outcome of the case.
Los Angeles police arrest an individual after a peaceful protest supporting Trayvon Martin in Leimert Park turned violent.

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