All over the country people took to the streets Sunday (July 14) for mostly peaceful protests honoring the life of Trayvon Martin, after his accused killer was acquitted of all charges. Adding to those in South Florida where the second-degree murder trial of shooter George Zimmerman was held, hundreds in New York City, L.A., Washington D.C., and other cities, rallied for justice after the not guilty verdict in the teen’s slaying.
At the request of Martin’s family many supporters remained non-violent, but there were multiple arrests reported in New York and Los Angeles. Additionally, a group in Oakland, Calif. burned an American flag.
Also, in Los Angeles large groups shut down the I-10 Freeway, resulting in a clash with authorities.
From NBC LA:
Protesters marched onto the eastbound Interstate 10 near Arlington Avenue on Sunday, shutting down the freeway for nearly an hour and leading to confrontations with police, authorities said.
Los Angeles Police Department officers fired bean bags at protesters after some people threw bottles and other objects at officers, LAPD Commander Andrew Smith told NBC4.
The mob was cleared from the roadway by about 7 p.m., when LAPD officers began firing rubber bullets, protesters said. Some of the first tweets showing photos of people on the freeway were posted shortly after 6 p.m.
The protest was one of at least two major ones in the city, beginning about 4 p.m. at Martin Luther King Jr and Crenshaw boulevards.
Several people were struck by bean bags in a shopping center near 10th Avenue and Washington Boulevard in Mid-City, said Jasmyne Cannick, who tweeted photos of the protesters and said she and an attorney were observing the rally.
“They’re in pain and I don’t know what’s going to happen to them,” Cannick said.
She said that protesters seemed confused and panicked once officers began firing the bean bags at them from multiple sides.
Racial lines were immediately drawn in the case. Martin a Black teen was pegged a possible criminal by Zimmerman, who was running the neighborhood watch at the time. Zimmerman asserts that his run-in with the 17-year-old had nothing to do with skin color. During the trial the word “race” was never used, but inferred to either support or denounce claims the high school student was profiled. Martin’s father called the depiction of his son as a “thug” the hardest part of being in the courtroom.
Zimmerman, whose mother is Latina, filed a lawsuit against NBC for doctoring a 911 call in a news segment, making him appear discriminatory. A producer was fired for the “misleading” piece.
See photos from protests below.
Photos: Twitter/Instagram, Jessica Lehrman/Gothamist)