Communities nationwide braced for a day of demonstration, and possibly even dissent, as the public awoke Sunday to learn a six-person Florida jury had acquitted George Zimmerman of second-degree murder, overnight, in the February 2012 killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
Protesters on the West Coast massed, and in some cases marched, in four California cities, beneath the lingering sunshine that had already yielded to twilight and nightfall by the time the decision had been rendered shortly before 10 p.m. on the mostly quiescent East Coast.
Mostly, the California demonstrations proved peaceful, although matters were marred by sporadic reports of stray violence and vandalism, including the halt of a passenger train, the burning of American and California flags, the lighting of small fires in city roadways, shattered storefront windows and the spray painting of a courthouse, as well as the damaging of a police squad car.
In San Francisco, raucous, yet peaceful protesters marched on the city’s Mission District neighborhood; while about 200 in Los Angeles convened for a vigil in Leimart Park, or the city’s historically black neighborhood. City News Service in Los Angeles said, at one point, a smaller group halted an Expo Line train, somewhere within the city, but police could not immediately confirm details of that account.
Los Angeles Police Department Lt. Andy Neiman said another group of 50 to 100 demonstrators marched around midnight.
“There was a period where crowds were running among vehicles, but police dissuaded them,” he reportedly said, although he added that he knew of no arrests.
Meanwhile, in Oakland, police reported about 100 people protested, with some among the crowd breaking windows and starting fires in the streets. As the protest eventually fizzled, the office of police information added that it had no word of any arrests as of 2 a.m., PST.
However, some Oakland marchers reportedly vandalized a police squad car, and police were — at one point – forced to form a line to block the protesters’ path.
The Oakland Tribune reported some downtown office windows had been shattered, and footage from a television helicopter portrayed people starting fires in the street and spray painting anti-police graffiti. Protesters, there, also reportedly burned an American, and California state flag and spray painted Alameda County’s Davidson courthouse.
In Sacramento, more than 40 people gathered at City Hall, and the Sacramento Bee reported protesters riotously chanting: “What do we want? Justice. When do you we want it? Now. For who? Trayvon.” Meanwhile, a banner unfurled behind the speakers read, “No justice, no peace!” as the crowd cried out in unison.
Meanwhile, in Florida, media outlets reported mostly subdued sadness, and no violence or large gatherings.
“I’m sad,” was the only response Miami Gardens barber Steve Bass could muster to the Miami Herald, when asked for his opinion regarding the verdict. Bass had reportedly cut Trayvon Martin’s hair since the teen was a toddler.
Outside the Seminole County courthouse, where the trial took place, the Orlando Sentinel reported that a bewildered crowd of about 150 received the not-guilty verdict with chants of, “No justice, no peace.”
Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox US News