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MSNBC TV
updated 7/16/2013 2:45:40 AM ET 2013-07-16T06:45:40

The LAPD declared an “unlawful assembly” in the Crenshaw area, which meant the protesters must disperse or face arrest. Over 300 officers were deployed and more than a dozen people arrested.

Protests turned violent in the Crenshaw District of Los Angeles Monday night.

During an otherwise peaceful protest of the George Zimmerman acquittal, groups of protesters broke off and began disturbing passersby and destroying private property.

LAPD declared an “unlawful assembly” in Crenshaw, which meant the protesters must disperse or face arrest. By late evening, a dozen arrests had been made.

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck tweeted:

Violence is never the answer. Urging all protestors around LA 2let peace prevail.This is OUR City and we need to work 2gether 2 preserve it

— Chief Charlie Beck (@LAPDChiefBeck) July 16, 2013

The Los Angeles Times reported that authorities said “the police actions came after several hours of lawlessness along Crenshaw Boulevard and adjacent streets as groups of youths stomped on cars, assaulted bystanders, set fires and vandalized property.” The paper also reported that “protesters hurled several chunks of concrete at officers on Vernon Avenue, the Los Angeles Police Department said. No injuries were reported.”

The Oakland Police Department said it had made multiple arrests and called for additional law enforcement to assist with protesters.

In a press conference at 11 p.m., Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Police Chief Charlie Beck confirmed that over 300 officers were deployed to quell the protests and a more than a dozen people had been arrested. “We applaud those who have come and peacefully expressed their opinions tonight,” Garcetti said, “The trial we saw in Florida has ignited passions, but we have to make sure it will not ignite this city.”

Garcetti reminded protesters that Trayvon Martin’s family has asked for peaceful reactions from the public, saying “the Martin family didn’t ask anybody to break car windows” or destroy property. Police Chief Beck announced that LAPD will have “much stricter posture” tomorrow night.

Updated at 2:30 am EST.

Video: LA protesters take to the street in response to Zimmerman acquittal

  1. Closed captioning of: LA protesters take to the street in response to Zimmerman acquittal

    >> a hand ufl of protesters in southern los angeles have broken away from an otherwise peaceful trayvon martin rally and can be seen assaulting passers by and destroying property. we see half a dozen people running in the streets, breaking into buildings and stealing bicycles. the lapd is not on tactical alert but they have a heavy presence in some areas. you can see the police officers in the treats but from the shots we've seen this evening it's hard to tell how effective they've been able to be. we're looking at aerials from thing tifty that's takes place. as we mentioned it seems to be a couple dozen people as far as we can tell causing some civil disturbances. looks like they're going into stores. apparently they have been taking bikes which would make sense with some of the video we've seen this evening because we've seen a lot of people riding around on bicycles. that at least would be consistent with those reports. you can see there a number of people on bicycles and some on foot. the reports that we're getting is that this group broke apart from a peaceful protest related to the trayvon martin verdict that took place earlier in the week. we don't see any other signs necessarily of this protest being related to the trayvon martin case because, for example, no signs, people are carrying, no chanting, things like that. but as far as we know, this is an outpouring from a previous protest that had taken place. there have been protests taking place all across the country since the verdict was announced. the protests have been by and large peaceful. they've taken place in new york, san francisco to parts of florida. we've seen thousands 0 people taking to the streets peacefully protesting that verdict. what we're looking at now is video from earlier in this evening. again you can see groups of, looks like mostly men, running through the streets. this is in the crenshaw district of los angeles . we have heard reports that they have taken bicycles which perhaps would explain why so many people are on bicycles. we do see one individual there who was getting ready to throw a rock. this is tape. we don't know what happened with that. we don't know if he threw that and did damage any property. we're seeing groups of people in an extension, breaking off on an otherwise peaceful protest related to the trayvon martin ruling. looks like a couple dozen individuals running through the street riding bicycles. we've heard reports of property damage in those areas. we have not at this point heard any reports of any injuries or any confirmed reports of property damage . again the lapd says they are not on tactical alert at this time. we have seen in the video that we've been looking at some individuals setting up barricades, those metal barricades and barriers that police put up during protests and parades and the like. we've seen some of those being erected. it's unclear if that's part of the police response or perhaps that's just individual businesses trying to protect their property. behave seen some police cars in this video but they seem to be casual about the whole thing. we've seen one or two isolated police cars driving around slowly near these groups. we have not seen any large mobl lie zags of police officers in response to this activity that we're seeing here. again if you're just joining us we are bringing you breaking news from the los angeles area . we have a handful of protesters who are in the crenshaw district in southern los angeles . it appears they've broken away from a peaceful trayvon martin rally and that they've been seen disturbing passers by and destroying private property . i can only speak to the video we've seen this evening. it looks like they've gone into a walmart and came out with some things. we don't know what the situation there is. but we are seeing groups of people going in and outs of stores. we've heard reports of private property being destroyed. helicopter aerials show half a dozen people ring into the streets, breaking into buildings and stealing bicycles. so

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