Zimmerman verdict: 100s of protesters block Crenshaw Blvd., some vandalize stores, LAPD makes arrests (Photos)

Trayvon Martin Rally Leimert Park

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Police officers arrested 13 protestors in Leimert Park after a rally for Trayvon Martin escalated on July 15th, 2013.

Trayvon Martin Rally Leimert Park

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Police officers tell protestors to disperse at the intersection of 11th and Vernon St. in Leimert Park on July 15th, 2013.

Trayvon Martin Rally Leimert Park

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Police officers arrest protestors in Leimert Park on July 15th, 2013.

Trayvon Martin Rally Leimert Park

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Police officers line up on Vernon St. in Leimert Park to take 13 arrested protestors to jail.

Trayvon Martin George Zimmerman Rally Leimert Park

Erika Aguilar/KPCC

A large group of protesters from the Trayvon Martin rally at Leimert Park broke off and started marching on Crenshaw Boulevard Monday evening, stopping traffic.

Trayvon Martin George Zimmerman Rally Leimert Park

Erika Aguilar/KPCC

Police guard entrance to Wal-Mart at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza as protesters walk on the streets Monday night. There were reports of some vandalism at the shopping mall.

Trayvon Martin George Zimmerman Rally Leimert Park

Erika Aguilar/KPCC

Workers at the Jack in the Box near the intersection of Crenshaw Boulevard and Stocker Street repair a window broken by vandals Monday night.

Erika Aguilar/KPCC

LAPD officers in riot gear ask a small group of people to leave the area at the intersection of 43rd Street and Leimert Boulevard Monday night. Officers declared an unlawful assembly and dispersed a crowd after a group of about 100 people became unruly near the location of a Trayvon Martin rally at Leimert Park.

Trayvon Martin Rally Los Angeles Leimert Park

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Protestors march around Leimert Park in support of Trayvon Martin on July 15th, 2013.

Trayvon Martin Rally Los Angeles Leimert Park

Mae Ryan/KPCC

A supporter of Trayvon Martin yells out at the rally in Leimert Park on July 15th, 2013.

Trayvon Martin Rally Los Angeles Leimert Park

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Young supporters dance at the Trayvon Martin rally in Leimert Park on July 15th, 2013.

Trayvon Martin Rally Los Angeles Leimert Park

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Rob Robertson (Boss Player) watches the rally for Trayvon Martin in Leimert Park on July 15th, 2013.

Trayvon Martin Rally Los Angeles Leimert Park

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Cleo Ray, who grew up near Leimert Park and considers herself an elder in the community, supports Trayvon Martin on July 15th, 2013.

Trayvon Martin Rally Los Angeles Leimert Park

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Karson Rennick shows her support for Trayvon Martin at Leimert Park on July 15th, 2013.

Trayvon Martin Rally Los Angeles Leimert Park

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Dana Darcy and Brandon Stennette watch the rally for Trayvon Martin at Leimert Park on July 15th, 2013.

Trayvon Martin Rally Los Angeles Leimert Park

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Men and women observe a moment of silence at Leimert Park in support of Trayvon Martin on July 15th, 2013.

Trayvon Martin Rally Los Angeles Leimert Park

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Alice Virgin and Aryeh Gustave support Trayvon Martin and his family at Leimert Park on July 15th, 2013.

Trayvon Martin Rally Los Angeles Leimert Park

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Edward Tucker listens to speeches at a Leimert Park rally in support of Trayvon Martin on July 15th, 2013.

Trayvon Martin Rally Los Angeles Leimert Park

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Protestors rally for Trayvon Martin at Leimert Park in Los Angeles, Calif. on July 15th, 2013.

Trayvon Martin Rally Los Angeles Leimert Park

Mae Ryan/KPCC

A supporter of Trayvon Martin listens to a speaker at the Trayvon Martin rally in Leimert Park.

Trayvon Martin Rally Los Angeles Leimert Park

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Men and women rally at Leimert Park in support of Trayvon Martin on July 15th, 2013.

Trayvon Martin Rally Los Angeles Leimert Park

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Dekan Tremayme plays the drums at a rally for Trayvon Martin in Leimert Park on July 15th, 2013.

Trayvon Martin Rally Los Angeles Leimert Park

Mae Ryan/KPCC

A preacher and gang interventionist prays at the Trayvon Martin rally at Leimert Park on July 15th, 2013.


Update 8:29 a.m. Tuesday: About 150 protesters marched down Crenshaw Monday night with signs raised, sticks and motorized bikes. They marched down the middle of the street and most people were chanting in sympathy with Trayvon Martin. There was at least one restaurant with a window smashed by a rock.

There were 14 arrests Monday night — 13 for failing to disperse, and one for inciting a riot, according to LAPD Officer Gregory Baek. Six of those arrested were minors.

At about 9:30 p.m., police lined up outside of Walmart. They appeared to be trying to stop any looting from taking place. Police fired a bean bag and most of the protesters dispersed from that location.

At Leimert Park the protesters were mostly peaceful as the police surrounded their location. A fight broke out between two men who were protesting in the park, but it was quickly reconciled and protesters began to chant "unity."

The police peacefully moved the protesters out of the park and then continued to move them off street corners.

Update 11:29 p.m.: Los Angeles leaders address the city

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti addressed the media and residents near Leimert Park shortly after the LAPD declared an unlawful assembly and dispersed the protesters. The police moved in after a group broke from the larger crowd and vandalized some stores and vehicles in the area.

LAPD police Chief Charlie Beck said about 150 people broke away from the peaceful protest honoring Trayvon Martin to commit acts of vandalism and assault some people along Crenshaw Boulevard. He said some arrests were made. The Associated Press reports that at least 13 people were taken into custody.

More than 300 officers responded and they were deliberate in engaging the protesters in an attempt to allow a peaceful end to the demonstration, Beck said.

Beginning Tuesday, the LAPD will have a “stricter posture” on protests, the chief said. He also urged parents not to allow their children to protest Tuesday on Crenshaw Boulevard.

“Unfortunately, the rights of the many have been abused by the actions of a few,” Beck said.

Garcetti, who cut short an official trip to the East Coast, said people deserve to express their opinions, but people also deserve to be safe on their streets and in their cars.

Some quotes from the mayor's late night address:

  • “The trial that we saw in Florida has ignited passions but we have to make sure it will not ignite the city.”
  • “The Martin family was very clear – that those who sympathize with their plight, the best way to honor their son and their loved one is in a non-violent manner.”
  • “The Martin family didn’t ask anybody to break car windows. They didn’t ask anyone to take little kids’ scooters. They didn’t ask anybody to attack businesses. They certainly didn’t say take over traffic in the streets.”
  • "In the toughest times, we show who we are when we come together."

Los Angeles City Councilman Bernard Parks, who is also a former LAPD chief, blamed the unruly behavior on a small group of individuals.

“Our energies today and the last couple of days have been chasing a handful of people who choose to be disruptive,” Parks said.

Update 10:29 p.m.:  LAPD arrests small group of protesters 

LAPD officers have been making arrests of those who failed to disperse after they were ordered to leave the area. 

Footage on KCal 9 showed officers loading dozens of  protesters along Crenshaw Blvd. into vans. 

RELATED: In the wake of the Zimmerman verdict, what sort of conversations are you having?

Update 9:54 p.m.: LAPD declares unlawful assembly

The Los Angeles Police Dept. ordered protesters who had taken over a section of Crenshaw Blvd. to disburse shortly before 10 p.m., declaring the gathering an unlawful assembly. 

Dozens of police in riot gear had cordoned off the area after protesters spilled into the street and blocked traffic. 

The Associated Press reports  there was at least one arrest Monday night and more are expected.

Update 9:42 p.m.: LAPD, mayor call for peaceful protests

The L.A. Sheriffs Department issued a traffic advisory Monday night, cautioning drivers to steer clear of the Crenshaw district for the duration of the protests after demonstrators poured into the street near Crenshaw Boulevard and Vernon Avenue. 

LAPD Chief Beck asked for peaceful protests in a tweet, as did L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti

Update 9:27 p.m.: 'Zimmerman verdict: 100s again protest in Leimert Park, some block Crenshaw

Crowds of a few hundred people gathered Monday night at Leimert Park in South L.A. to protest the acquittal of George Zimmerman. They also say they’re celebrating the life of 17-year old Trayvon Martin.

Erika Turner who lives in the neighborhood told KPCC's Erika Aguilar that she felt compelled to come. She was sitting in her living room on Saturday when she heard the verdict.   

"I wasn't surprised, you know, I was upset and saddened to know that the jurors would see him not guilty," Turner said, adding: "It was a clear cut case, you know, and I'm just upset with the justice system." 

Turner says that Martin could have been anyone's child. She and others promised to bring about change by participating in more civic discussions and voting in more elections.  

A group of protesters broke away from the crowd and started marching south on Crenshaw, impeding traffic. LAPD cops directed traffic for a brief moment until the protesters left the road.

Meanwhile, Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer sent a letter Monday to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder supporting the Justice Department decision to review the case to determine whether Martin's civil rights were violated, the Associated Press reported.

"I respect the fact that the jury has spoken ... but I don't think this should be the last word," Boxer wrote in the letter.

"Trayvon Martin's death was a tragedy and has raised many sensitive and important issues," she wrote. "We should explore every avenue in an effort to ensure that something like this never happens again."

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