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Zimmerman verdict: Protesters block Oakland freeway

July 15, 2013|By Ruben Vives and Robert J. Lopez
  • A man throws a trash can at the window of a building during a protest in Oakland early Sunday after George Zimmerman was found not guilty in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
A man throws a trash can at the window of a building during a protest in Oakland… (Anda Chu / Associated Press )

Protesters denouncing the George Zimmerman trial verdict stormed Interstate 880 near downtown Oakland Monday evening and blocked traffic before lanes were cleared a short while later.

The California Highway Patrol said traffic was blocked "due to police activity" and urged motorists to use the 580 Freeway as an alternate.

Images posted on Twitter showed people dashing across the busy freeway amid oncoming vehicles.

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The CHP reported about 7:45 p.m. that all northbound and southbound lanes were cleared and that the protesters had moved to surface streets.

Zimmerman, 29, was acquitted Saturday in Florida of second-degree murder and manslaughter in the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin, 17.

The verdict has sparked protests across the county and led to violence and arrests over the weekend in Oakland and Los Angeles.

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On Saturday night in Oakland, people rampaged across downtown and broke windows, spray-painted cars and buildings and attempted to start fires.

In Los Angeles, nine people were arrested Sunday in protests that erupted in Hollywood and Liemert Park. The arrests were for suspicion of vandalizing property, battering police or failing to disperse, acceding to the the LAPD.

On Monday evening in Leimert Park, people gathered for a vigil in support of Trayvon.

As James Brown music played, some danced and others wore shirts that read "Justice for Trayvon Martin." One man held up another shirt that showed Zimmerman with the words "Wanted Dead or Alive" with the last word crossed out.

The group broke up as a number of marchers moved along Crenshaw Boulevard chanting "No justice, No Peace."

Los Angeles Police Department officers watched from a distance and a police helicopter flew overhead.


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