At least nine people, protesting George Zimmerman’s acquittal in the Trayvon Martin case in Florida, were arrested late Monday night and early this morning during a rally in downtown Oakland, police said.
A number of downtown businesses were vandalized and protesters were arrested for offenses including two felony crimes and seven misdemeanors. Violations included assault with a deadly weapon, resisting arrest, and vandalism, according to police.
Assaults, broken windows, graffiti and small fires were reported.
Police also recovered a BB gun from a protester.
Six men and two females were arrested. A male juvenile was issued a notice to appear in court for vandalism and was released to a guardian, police said.
The majority of the arrestees reported addresses outside of Oakland, according to police.
Protesters broke storefront windows and clashed with police in downtown Oakland this morning after hundreds of protesters gathered in response to the acquittal of a neighborhood watch volunteer for the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin in Florida, police said.
As of 2:45 a.m., numerous acts of vandalism—including Dumpsters pulled into the street, windows broken and fireworks set off – were reported, police said.
Oakland police and other agencies attempted to redirect the crowd of at least 250 protesters when they began lighting off fireworks and smashing glass storefront windows in the vicinity of lower Telegraph Avenue, Franklin Street and Broadway late Monday night and early this morning.
Monday night’s protest was the third in three days in Oakland following the announcement Saturday that George Zimmerman was found not guilty of the murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin after a confrontation where he followed Martin believing he was suspicious.
According to police, the protest on Monday evening briefly blocked traffic on Interstate Highway 880 and about five people were arrested.
The rally began at about 6 p.m. in Frank Ogawa Plaza and was initially led by a team of protesters on bicycles—some who decorated their wheels in an Oakland style known as “Scraper Bikes.”
After leaving the plaza, protesters marched past Oakland police headquarters, briefly onto Interstate Highway 880 before being dispersed by Oakland police and California Highway Patrol officers, and then through Chinatown, to Lake Merritt and then into downtown.
There were brief confrontations between protesters and officers at several locations, including at the entrance to Interstate Highway 580 near Lake Merritt, at the Rene C. Davidson Courthouse at 12th and Oak streets and downtown.
Hannah Albarazi, Bay City News