Society

California Demonstrators Protest George Zimmerman Acquittal (Video)

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Following the acquittal of George Zimmerman on Saturday, protesters in Los Angeles, Oakland and other cities across the state took to the streets to rally against the verdict. Protesters blocked traffic and clashed with police, leading to the arrests of several people in Los Angeles. The LAPD began making arrests early on Monday after about 80 protesters gathered in Hollywood on Sunset Boulevard and an unlawful assembly was declared.

On Sunday evening, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti urged protesters to "practice peace" in a Twitter posting. During the Los Angeles protests, some members of the crowd threw rocks and flashlight batteries at officers, causing them to fire beanbag rounds in response, USA Today reported.

In Oakland, protesters started small fires in the streets and broke windows at the Oakland Tribune. There are also reports that a police vehicle was vandalized and that demonstrators spray-painted anti-police graffiti. Demonstrators also set an American and a California state flag on fire.

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan released a statement on Sunday. In it, she said Martin's death "raised powerful, incredibly difficult issues" surrounding racial profiling, but she criticized vandals who "dishonored the memory of Trayvon by engaging in violent activities that hurt our growing economy and endangered people."

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"We will not tolerate violence in our city," Quan said.

In San Francisco, 400 people marched across downtown to the waterfront Ferry Building while banging drums, blowing whistles and holding signs that declared "Zimmerman: the people say guilty," and "The whole system is racist."

Rand Powdrill, 41, said he came to "protest the execution of an innocent black teenager."

"If our voices can't be heard, then this is just going to keep going on," he said.

A video of one of the protests is below:

Sources: USA TodayWashington Post