LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Demonstrators gathered locally Sunday calling for justice and peace in protest of the acquittal of a Florida man accused of fatally shooting a 17-year-old boy.
The Los Angeles Coalition for Community Control Over the Police and Occupy L.A. held a peaceful demonstration at Crenshaw and Martin Luther King Jr. boulevards, authorities said.
Protesters, many carrying signs, gathered at the area about 4 p.m.
Following a variety of speeches in the presence of a crowd that included a contingent of Los Angeles police officers, a march ensued north and south on Crenshaw and eventually flowed onto the Santa Monica I-10 Freeway.
Some local reports say that police shot beanbags at the protesters to disperse them. Others suggest that police shot rubber bullets to disperse the protesters.
Around 200 protesters stood on the freeway and shut down traffic; they crossed the freeway median and shut down the northbound freeway as well. The freeway remained closed for approximately 20 minutes.Reports stated that some of the protesters began throwing bottles at police near 39th and Crenshaw. Officers called for backup at the off-ramp and on-ramp at Vernon and Leimart to prevent further disruptions of freeway traffic.
Protestors also gathered in the Leimert Park area near Crenshaw Boulevard and Vernon Avenue.The march also was supported by the Justice4Trayvon and HoodiesUp efforts.
A jury found George Zimmerman not guilty Saturday in the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin. The jury deliberated for about 16 hours before rendering the verdict.