On Thursday night in San Bernardino, California, 11 people were arrested after anti-George Zimmerman protesters began throwing rocks and bricks at cars passing by, as well as police and police cars. Around 100 people gathered in a march in the bankrupt city, which initially was peaceful.
Within hours, things turned ugly when smaller groups began to get unruly. When police asked the crowd to disperse, the crowd refused, and one man was allegedly shot with a bean bag. “He didn’t do anything wrong,” said Andre Orr, 27, of his cousin, who was treated by paramedics. Orr said that protesters began throwing objects after “Some [Latinos] drove by and were yelling at us, and you know how it is. [The protesters] didn’t like that. But us, we were just standing here. It wasn’t our thing.”
After most of the crowd left, around 50 people moved behind walls and began assaulting police. After the police dispersed that crowd, they received a report of one person attacked by a protester, allegedly Byron Thomas, 22, who was on parole.
Eddie Jones, President of the Los Angeles Civil Rights Association, blamed overreaction by police for provoking the violence. “We want this to be peaceful, and we want this to be about Trayvon Martin, who was failed by a judicial system that needs to change and a legislative system that needs to change. We still have a right to assemble, and that’s all we’re doing is exercising that right,” he said.
Police reported no provocation to the rock and bottle throwing. One police car was damaged, and a police horse was hit.