LAPD Reinstates Tactical Alert, Fires Bean Bag Rounds Amid Trayvon Martin Protests
The Los Angeles Police Department on Sunday night reinstated a tactical alert amid protests about the acquittal of George Zimmerman, amid reports that LAPD officers fired bean bag rounds. On Twitter, images surfaced of protesters walking down Interstate 10, closing part of it down.
NBC News reported that LAPD officers fired bean bag rounds at protesters to disperse them in parts of the city. Some also fired rubber bullets at demonstrators.
LAPD Commander Andrew Smith told the broadcaster some protesters threw bottles and objects at the officers.
“They’re in pain and I don’t know what’s going to happen to them,” Jasyme Cannick, who tweeted photos of protesters, told the station.
She also tweeted: “We are literally walking on the 10 freeway for Trayvon Martin! #NoJustice,” with a photo of people walking in the freeway.
On Saturday evening, jurors handed down a not guilty verdict for Zimmerman, who was charged with second degree murder of Martin, 17, in Sanford, Fla., last year.
The decision drew nationwide condemnation and praise, with some calling for protests.
“We are outraged and heartbroken over today’s verdict,” NAACP President Benjamin Jealous said in a statement, according to ABC News. “We will pursue civil rights charges with the Department of Justice, we will continue to fight for the removal of Stand Your Ground laws in every state, and we will not rest until racial profiling in all its forms is outlawed,” Jealous said.
Late on Saturday night, the LAPD instated a tactical alert over potential protests or riots.
In Oakland, there were reports of unruly protesters who damaged property and police cars.
President Barack Obama issued a statement about the verdict, saying that people should remain calm. “We are a nation of laws, and a jury has spoken,” he said in a White House statement.
He added, “I now ask every American to respect the call for calm reflection from two parents who lost their young son. And as we do, we should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to widen the circle of compassion and understanding in our own communities. We should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence that claims too many lives across this country on a daily basis.”