Zimmerman Acquittal Spurs Protests In Leimert Park
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Police Saturday called for a citywide tactical alert as hundreds gathered for two demonstrations in Leimert Park to protest the not guilty verdict of George Zimmerman in the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
Chanting and visibly upset, a group of 300 people organized by Project Islamic Hope peaceably protested for about two hours near Crenshaw Boulevard and Vernon Avenue just after 8:30 p.m.
“The Martin family set the whole tone because they said from the very beginning they just wanted justice, not vengeance,” Najee Ali, the project’s director, said. “Whatever the verdict came out, they wanted to make sure that there was peace in the community. So we’re honoring Trayvon Martin’s legacy by keeping peace.”
About a mile north, police say a group of counter-protesters gathered just before midnight near the 10 Freeway and Crenshaw Boulevard.
Tactical units were deployed after police say protesters started throwing bottles at officers and blocking traffic.
Officers fired several “bean bag rounds” during the clash.
Several people, including KNX 1070 reporter Claudia Peschiutta, were hit but no one was seriously injured.
Police say several people were detained but no arrests were made, according to CBS2’s Joy Benedict.
The Southwest Community Police Station is investigating.
Around 1 a.m. Sunday, the citywide tactical alert was scaled back to South Los Angeles and was then canceled by 2:30 a.m. More protests are planned Sunday.