AFRICANGLOBE – Demonstrators protesting George Zimmerman’s not guilty verdict in the murder of Florida teen Trayvon Martin reportedly shut down part of a freeway in Los Angeles Sunday night.
According to CBS Los Angeles, about 200 protesters stood on the southbound 10 Freeway in Crenshaw to block traffic. Protesters told NBC LA that the police fired rubber bullets in order to disperse the crowd and ended up arresting at least one person on suspicion of throwing rocks and bottles at an officer.
Ruth Fowler, an LA-based author and blogger, was among one of the protestors on the freeway. Fowler described the scene as peaceful and happy.
“We were supported by cars who beeped their support, as did the local community who waved, gave us water, shielded us from the police with their cars, and were in complete solidarity with us,” Fowler said.
The demonstration on the 10 freeway lasted from 6:20 p.m. to 6:44 p.m., officials told the Los Angeles Times, and the freeway has since reopened.
But when the Fowler continued on to Crenshaw Blvd. with the other protestors, things got violent. According to Fowler, police officers split the large march into smaller groups, and she was one of about 100 that headed down a side street. Despite the fact that they were peaceful and on the sidewalk, said Fowler, police still shot rubber bullets into the crowd.
“We stood there, about 100 of us, unarmed, peaceful, face to face with riot police, when the police suddenly started shooting,” wrote Fowler. “My friend dragged me out of the way and the girl in front of me — Liz — and her boyfriend Jeff were shot in the face by rubber bullets.” Fowler said in a tweet that she is 18 weeks pregnant, and that the rubber bullets narrowly missed her.
Justice Department To Review George Zimmerman Case
The Justice Department says it is looking into the shooting death of Trayvon Martin to determine whether federal prosecutors should file criminal civil rights charges now that George Zimmerman has been acquitted in the state case.
The department opened an investigation into Trayvon Martin’s death last year but stepped aside to allow the state prosecution to proceed.
In a statement Sunday, the Justice Department said the criminal section of the civil rights division, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Middle District of Florida are continuing to evaluate the evidence generated during the federal probe, in addition to the evidence and testimony from the state trial.
The statement said that, in the government’s words, “experienced federal prosecutors will determine whether the evidence reveals a prosecutable violation.”