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Trayvon Martin verdict protesters march on Hollywood Boulevard

July 14, 2013|By Thomas Curwen and Joe Mozingo
  • Protesters angered by the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the death of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin sit in the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue on Sunday night.
Protesters angered by the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the death of… (Thomas Curwen, Los Angeles…)

About a 100 demonstrators protesting the verdict in the Trayvon Martin case were marching east along Hollywood Boulevard near Highland Avenue late Sunday, and a large contingent of police officers were set up at the popular tourist spot to ensure that the crowd did not get out of hand.

A large section of the boulevard was closed to traffic, with about 40 protesters standing in the middle of the intersection, heckling and jeering at police. At least one person was arrested.

Some marchers encouraged tourists to photograph them and join them in the demonstration. Meanwhile, street vendors went about their business, grilling hot dogs and  hawking tickets for comedy shows as police helicopters hovered overhead.

Across the city, dozens of protesters marching north along Crenshaw Boulevard toward the 10 Freeway, which demonstrators earlier temporarily shut down, broke up late Sunday and left the area.

California Highway Patrol officers remained to prevent anyone from accessing the freeway's on-ramps.

Throughout the evening, police struggled to get a handle on pockets of protesters blocking traffic in the wake of the verdict in the George Zimmerman murder trial in Florida. The neighborhood watch volunteer was acquitted Saturday of fatally shooting the unarmed black teenager during a confrontation in February 2012. 

Earlier, the LAPD called a citywide tactical alert after demonstrators blocked traffic on the eastbound 10 Freeway. The freeway was shut down from 6:30 p.m. to about 6:45 p.m.

Police emphasized that most of the protesters were peaceful. But there have been several splinter groups from the main protest that have been more aggressive, officials said.

LAPD Cmdr. Andy Smith said some demonstrators threw rocks and D-cell batteries at police near the corner of Washington Boulevard and 10th Avenue. Police responded by firing bean bags at demonstrators and arresting at least one person.

Demonstrators also amassed in San Francisco, Oakland and New York City's Times Square on Sunday night.

ALSO:

Zimmerman found not guilty

Zimmerman's lawyer calls prosecution 'disgraceful'

Anchorwoman apologizes for racist names; source unclear

thomas.curwen@latimes.com

joe.mozingo@latimes.com

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