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13 Arrested in Los Angeles After Zimmerman Protest Turns Violent

  • VOA News

A protester confronts a Los Angles police officer during a demonstration in reaction to the acquittal of neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman on July 15, 2013, in Los Angeles.

A protester confronts a Los Angles police officer during a demonstration in reaction to the acquittal of neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman on July 15, 2013, in Los Angeles.

Thirteen people were arrested early Tuesday in Los Angeles after another day of protests surrounding the acquittal in the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager in Florida.

A small group of protestors broke away from a peaceful rally and ran through the streets of the city's Crenshaw neighborhood, stomping on cars, breaking storefront windows and assaulting bystanders. Several protesters ran into a department store and smashed displays before being chased out by store security.

Rallies have been held across the nation since Sunday, a day after a Florida jury acquitted neighborhood-watch volunteer George Zimmerman of murder charges in the killing of Trayvon Martin in February 2012.

One of the jurors from the trial told U.S.-based Cable News Network on Monday the six-member panel was evenly split between convicting Zimmerman and acquitting him during an initial vote. The woman said the all-female jury reached its ultimate conclusion after examining all the evidence.

Martin was killed after a struggle with Zimmerman. Zimmerman, 29, says he acted in self-defense after he was physically assaulted by the teenager.

Also Monday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder called for a new national discussion about the "complicated and emotionally-charged issues" surrounding the tragedy.

Holder said America should not let the moment pass to have a "necessarily difficult dialogue" about stereotypes involving racial identity and young people.

"We are resolved, as you are, to combat violence involving or directed at young people, to prevent future tragedies and to deal with the underlying attitudes, mistaken beliefs and stereotypes that serve as the basis for these too common incidents," he said.

Holder heads the country's Department of Justice, which he said is reviewing whether federal charges should be brought against Zimmerman.

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