Protests in Oakland Turn Violent Following Zimmerman Verdict
OAKLAND, Calif. (KTLA) – Protesters broke windows and started a series of fires on Saturday night in Oakland following the acquittal of George Zimmerman, police said.
Occupy Oakland organized the gathering over Twitter, and encouraged protesters to wear hoodies, as Trayvon Martin did when he was shot to death by Zimmerman.
Shortly after the verdict was read, the group tweeted: “#hoodiesup. OGP @ 10 pm tonight. Bring ur hoodie.”
At least 100 people showed up for the rally in downtown Oakland. While it began peacefully, some people in the crowd started breaking windows, vandalizing cars, and spray painting buildings.
A female photographer from KTVU television suffered minor injuries and her camera was broken.
The Oakland Tribune also reported several windows at its downtown offices were broken, and one of the paper’s photographers describe the scene as being “tense.”
No arrests were made, according to local media reports.
Early Sunday morning Occupy Oakland posted several more tweets about the protest.
“What happened in #Oakland tonight was not just about #TrayvonMartin. It was also about #OscarGrant, #RaheimBrown, #AlanBlueford @OaklandElle.
“Calm down, twitter. A few broken windows in #Oakland is not a #riot, its a dance party. #RipTrayvonMartin #JusticeForTrayvon,” the group tweeted.
Occupy Oakland planned another rally on Sunday at 4 p.m.
A jury of six women returned the not guilty verdict Saturday evening after more than 16 hours of deliberations over two days.
Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder, but the jury had the option of finding him guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter.