Eleven people were arrested and cited in Los Angeles area rallies protesting the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. Toni Guinyard reports for Today in LA on Monday, July 15, 2013.
At least a dozen people were arrested and cited in Los Angeles during demonstrations over the verdict in the trial of George Zimmerman, the Florida block-watch captain charged in the death of teen Trayvon Martin.
What started out as a quiet day of protest Sunday over Zimmerman's acquittal became more aggressive as the day wore on.
The situation turned when up to 400 demonstrators marched onto the Santa Monica (10) Freeway near Crenshaw Boulevard and stopped traffic for about an hour.
Demonstrators confronted LA police and CHP officers who fired bean bags to force protesters to disperse. The closure began about 6 p.m. and ended about 7 p.m.
Two people were arrested on charges of battery on an officer; one person was arrested and released at the scene for possession of marijuana; five were cited for failing to disperse; and four others were cited for honking car horns, jaywalking and jumping on cars, police said.
LAPD officials said they'd have a final tally of arrests and citations late Monday.
LAPD officers were placed on a citywide tactical alert, which means officers can be required to stay on the job after their regular shifts and are not required to respond to low-priority calls.
The LA area protests were among several held in other major cities, including Chicago, New York, San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland.
Another rally, meanwhile, was planned for 6 p.m. Monday in Leimert Park.
A six-woman jury found 29-year-old Zimmerman not guilty Saturday in the shooting death of 17-year-old Martin, who was black, in a Sanford, Fla., gated community.
The case fueled a national debate about race, guns and Florida's "stand-your-ground" law that broadens the definition of self-defense and the legal scope of the use of firearms in exercising it.
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