Zimmerman Protest Marred By Violence in Los Angeles

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
July 16 2013 11:40 AM

Zimmerman Protest Marred By Violence in Los Angeles

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Los Angeles Police Department officers in riot gear look at protestors in the streets around Leimert Park following a prayer vigil against the acquittal of George Zimmerman

Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

What began as a peaceful demonstration in Los Angeles protesting the George Zimmerman verdict turned violent last night. About 350 police officers were called to control rowdy groups of protesters after they split off from the quiet vigil and began stomping cars, breaking windows, and vandalizing a local Wal-Mart. At the end of the night, officials arrested 14 people for failing to disperse. Here's the Los Angeles Times with more details of the night:

The group roamed Crenshaw Boulevard and neighboring streets breaking windows, setting fires and attacking several people. Among those attacked were a television reporter and his cameraman, according to law enforcement authorities.
Reporter Dave Bryan and his cameraman, both of whom work for KCBS Channel 2 and KCAL Channel 9, were attacked and one of them was taken to a hospital with a possible concussion, Lt. Andy Neiman told The Times.
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It's worth noting, however, that the violent outburst, which officials estimate about 150 people were involved in, was far from a full-blown riot of any sort—and even farther from the wave of violence that some outlets had speculated would occur in the wake of a not guilty verdict. Officials are blaming it on a a group of young people who took the protest to another level. "It started off as a peaceful protest at Leimert Park," said LAPD Officer Bruce Borihanh. "Unfortunately, a small group started disrupting it." Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti agreed, blaming the violence on a "a small group [that] has taken advantage of this situation."

Jennifer Lai is an associate editor at Slate.

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