Police estimated about 150 people took part in the violence Monday night after a peaceful vigil at Leimert Park. They were protesting the acquittal Saturday of George Zimmerman, 29, in Florida on second-degree murder and manslaughter in last year’s shooting death of unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
The group of roving protesters marched down Crenshaw Boulevard. Police said they tossed rocks, broke windows and set fire in some trash cans before LAPD declared an unlawful assembly and arrested 14 people.
When they arrived at a Wal-Mart in Crenshaw Plaza, some made their way into a store before security guards were able to close the gates. A short time later, Los Angeles Police Department officers wearing helmets and carrying batons swarmed the store as others marched through the parking lot.
Lali Castillo, 21, of Glendale said she saw people storm inside the store and begin throwing merchandise–mostly clothing–onto the ground. Some tried to break open the glass jewelry displays on the first floor, she said.
She and her family quickly got in their car and left.
Tanya Williams, 55, of Inglewood, and her daughter Erica Williams, 28, were shopping on the second floor when they heard people run into the store, screaming. They also saw protesters try to break the glass jewelry cabinets.