LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Leaders of the black business community in Los Angeles called on local businesses Thursday to hire more black youth to help quell the threat of further protests over the George Zimmerman verdict.

KNX 1070’s Megan Goldsby reports some are blaming a high jobless rate for the recent uptick in violence.

Charles Brister, the founder of The Black 411, an organization that promotes black-owned businesses, suggested that at least part of the cause for fourteen arrests during protests in the Crenshaw District can be linked back to unemployment.

“The more people that we hire, the more people that’s out there earning a living, spending money, paying taxes, supporting their families,” Brister said.

According to Brister, black people make up 12 percent of the U.S. population, but only 6 percent of the workforce.

But among black-owned businesses, black employees make up 60 percent of employees – ten times higher than the general workforce.

Brister said that’s one of the reasons local demonstrations in honor of Trayvon Martin have not been entirely peaceful, including one where he witnessed a group of boys near Leimert Park break the window of a local Jack-In-The-Box restaurant.

“The 99 percent weren’t doing that,” he said. “Those kids I saw doing that, it seemed like they didn’t even care about Trayvon, they were just out there to have mischief.”

Residents have marched in Crenshaw, Beverly Hills, and across the nation in several protests over the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.


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