Rally Against Zimmerman Verdict Becomes Violent in San Bernardino: Police

Officers said hundreds of marchers were involved in the rally when it began, but by the time it became violent, the crowd had thinned to about 50 demonstrators.

A crowd of demonstrators became violent in San Bernardino, Calif., Thursday night when they threw rocks at cars while protesting the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin, police said.

The San Bernardino Police Department was responding to reports of vandalism when they encountered about 120 protesters. The group began throwing rocks and bottles at passing motorists, police officers and patrol cars, according to a police department press release.

Aerial video showed dozens of demonstrators running from galloping police horses as officers demanded they disperse from the intersection of Baseline and Waterman avenues.

Most of the crowd left after the officers' orders, but about 50 people decided to move behind cinder block walls and throw rocks and bottles at officers, police said.

One patrol car was damaged by a rock that a protester threw at it, police said.

NewsChopper 4 spotted at least one person in handcuffs. Police arrested 11 people for a variety of charges including assault with a deadly weapon, battery, assault on a police horse and vandalism.

A Jack in the Box near Baseline and Waterman avenues closed 90 minutes early at 8:30 p.m. because demonstrators had started to congregate around the fast food restaurant.

Rocks were thrown at the business’ window, but there was no damage, an employee who spoke on the condition of anonymity said.

Officers cleared the business areas to prevent any additional vandalism, police said.

The rally began about 7:30 p.m. at Perris Hill Park (map), according to the San Bernardino Sun.

It moved eastbound on Highland Avenue to Waterman Avenue before turning south toward Baseline, about six blocks away from where the rally started.

The protest came on the heels of a Wednesday night demonstration during which several people gathered in front of San Bernardino County Superior Court for the same reason, the Sun reported.

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