LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti Monday was expected to cut short a trip to the East Coast in response to the threat of continuing protests over the acquittal of George Zimmerman.
Garcetti was scheduled to be in Washington, D.C., this week to meet with federal officials about transportation, economic, and other issues. He also had stops planned in Maryland and Pittsburgh.
However, the mayor decided to return home after he was briefed by LAPD Chief Charlie Beck on protesters who took over a portion of the 10 Freeway in Crenshaw on Sunday and forced police to declare an unlawful assembly.
Seven people were also arrested after a demonstration at CNN headquarters on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood.
Garcetti decided to return to L.A. out of an “abundance of caution,” according to a spokesman for the mayor.
Hours after a jury acquitted Zimmerman in the Sanford, Fla., shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, Garcetti took to Twitter to urge Angelenos to voice their opinions peacefully.
“‘Nonviolence is a powerful&just weapon..It is a sword that heals-MLK.’ Exercise 1st Amendment and practice peace in City of Angels tonight,” Garcetti wrote.
Garcetti was expected to land in Los Angeles at 5 p.m.