Local News

Oakland rally for Trayvon Martin turns violent

Sunday, July 14, 2013
A large crowd marched through Oakland on Sunday in support of Trayvon Martin. A large crowd marched down San Franciscos Market Street to Justin Herman Plaza on Sunday in support of Trayvon Martin. Musician Lester Chambers attacked after he dedicated a song to Trayvon Martin Trayvon Martin George Zimmermans older brother Robert Demonstrators damaged a Sears in Oakland during Zimmerman verdict protest Demonstrators marched in Oakland, SF and LA to denounce the acquittal of George Zimmerman in shooting of Trayvon Martin. George Zimmerman

Crowds turned violent in Oakland late Sunday night. We're received reports that rocks and bottles were thrown at police and that reporters were attacked by protesters.

A reporter with our media partner the Bay Area News Group tweeted that she and her photographer were attacked by the crowd. She also tweeted that demonstrators attacked a TV cameraman.

For more than three hours, protesters had complete control of 14th and Broadway near Oakland City Hall, preventing any cars from getting through.

At about 8:30 p.m., police opened the intersection to traffic. But it quickly deteriorated when demonstrators surrounded frightened drivers who found themselves trapped. The crowd forced them to turn around.

Oakland police officers that had been near the corner retreated, leaving the helpless drivers without police protection. It's unclear who gave that command.

The hundreds had gathered to protest the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the killing of Trayvon Martin.

"Last night's verdict, um, it didn't sit well in my heart because I've been a victim to his situation as well in my own neighborhood," Oakland resident Jacob Chavis said.

"I don't think that jury was representative of that community and I think the prosecutor did a very poor job of presenting the case," Oakland resident Carol Dewitt said.

The afternoon began with a rally at Frank Ogawa Plaza.

"I'd just rather see us all just get together and pray and talk to God and maybe this thing can stop," Oakland resident Jacqueline Thompson said.

SKY7 HD was overhead as the crowd walked several miles into West Oakland.

Later, protesters tried to crash a BART station.

Then, in the middle of Broadway, they set fire to an American flag.

Late Sunday night a photographer reported he was attacked by the crowd when he wandered into the middle of the group on Broadway.

Meanwhile in San Francisco, protesters made a lot of noise and tied up traffic as they wove their way through downtown.

On day two of protests in San Francisco following a not guilty verdict in the Zimmerman trial, the group crowded into the cable car turnaround plaza at Powell and Market streets.

Among those in the group were young people like Mariah Jenkins. She says she watched the verdict with her mother and was shocked.

"It was really intense and sad," she said. "It's not fair. It's not like it's a race thing, it's not fair that someone can just go out and kill somebody and not get in trouble for it."

For most people there, the not guilty verdict set off another round of concerns over race and violence in the country.

"So many black people are killed because ah, they were walking down the street looking suspicious," protester Arlene Eisen said.

But not everyone who watched the spectacle agrees with the message.

"They're trying to pit American citizens against each other over this ridiculous race issue," spectator Lewis Weiner said. "You know, these protesters, they don't get out here and they don't protest about the black on black violence in these poor black neighborhood communities."

The demonstrators took their protests to the streets of San Francisco, first heading into the shopping district and then toward the Embarcadero.

SKY7 HD was overhead as the group marched down Market Street.

Police estimates put the crowd at about 200 people.

As they arrived at Justin Herman Plaza, a rally continued and then finished up peacefully after a few minutes.

Bay Area musician attacked for supporting Trayvon

A well-known Bay Area blues musician was attacked on stage Saturday night after he dedicated one of his songs to Trayvon Martin.

Lester Chambers, 73, is known for his work as a member of the Chambers Brothers.

The assault happened as he played at a blues festival in Hayward.

The attacker apparently disagreed with his dedication and ran onto the stage. She shoved Chambers, causing him to fall and bruise his back. He was taken to the hospital for treatment.

"Power pressured me off my feet where I went flying about maybe four to six, eight feet in the air landing on this equipment," Chambers said.

Police and security guards weren't far away and arrested the woman, 43 year-old Dinalynn Andrews Potter from Barstow.

She was charged with battery but was released from custody.

Oakland buildings damaged during Zimmerman protest on Saturday

Businesses across downtown Oakland were busy cleaning up after a demonstration late Saturday night turned to destruction.

All remnants of a violent protest Saturday night, when 100 people gathered after the verdict was read, marched through downtown Oakland and left destruction in their wake.

At Flora, on the corner of 19th and Telegraph, employees and patrons had to duck for cover under tables as the restaurant's windows shattered around them.

"It was really scary for everyone," witness Jessica Moncada said. "But the attitude, even with our staff, is that everyone understands why people are so angry. So there's not a lot of animosity I guess towards the people, but one of our girls was pushed up against a wall, and so that's not okay."

Down the block, Sears has been a target during past demonstrations. On Saturday night, the business sustained the worst damage yet. Witnesses say the protesters used weights to smash nearly 30 windows and doors.

"I'm going to say pretty close to $50,000, around there," said Manny Minjarez with San Lorenzo Glass. He says that's the approximate cost to replace the windows that they'd already replaced before.

Despite all the damage, there were no arrests and no injuries.

Mayor Jean Quan released a statement Sunday, condemning the protesters who took part in the vandalism. It reads, in part, "Sadly, some of them dishonored the memory of Trayvon by engaging in violent activities... This is unacceptable as well. We will not tolerate violence in our city."

People in the neighborhood hope all these boarded up windows will deter anyone from causing more damage, as protests and rallies continue.

(Copyright ©2014 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

Get more Local News »


Tags:
trayvon martin, george zimmerman, trials, marijuana, crime, shooting, protest, mission district, oakland, violence, local news
blog comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement