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Hundreds Protest Zimmerman Verdict In Oakland, San Francisco

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Oakland Protest

Vandalism at the Zimmerman verdict protest in Oakland. (CBS)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF/BCN/AP) — Protesters of the George Zimmerman trial “not guilty” verdict swarmed the streets of Oakland and vandalized some buildings, police said.

Officers in riot helmets were dispatched to downtown Oakland where vandalism was reported Saturday night and into this morning, Officer Cynthia Espinoza said.

A group of masked protesters were seen running down Telegraph Avenue and Broadway throwing objects at several windows, smashing them in the process.

Protesters were also seen tagging buildings and windows with the letters “FTP.”

As of 12:30 a.m., Espinoza said no arrests had been made.

In San Francisco, hundreds of people made their way down Mission Street after an anti-war and anti-racism activist group called an emergency march in protest of the “not guilty” verdict announced Saturday evening in the George Zimmerman trial.

The ANDSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) Coalition and the Party for Socialism and Liberation called for the march after the verdict, which acquitted Zimmerman of all charges in the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin.

Zimmerman, 29, shot Martin, 17, on Feb. 26th, 2012 in Sanford, Florida. A neighborhood watch coordinator, Zimmerman argued the shooting, which sparked national controversy, was in self-defense.

Saturday night, Zimmerman blinked and barely smiled when the verdict was announced. He could have been convicted of second-degree murder or manslaughter. But the jury of six women, all but one of them white, reached a verdict of not guilty.

The teen’s father, Tracy, reacted on Twitter: “Even though I am broken hearted my faith is unshattered I WILL ALWAYS LOVE MY BABY TRAY.”

Trayvon Martin’s brother, Jahvaris Fulton, said simply: “Et tu America?” — a reference to the Latin phrase “Et tu, Brute?” known as an expression of betrayal.

The jurors considered nearly three weeks of often wildly conflicting testimony over who was the aggressor on the rainy night the 17-year-old was shot while walking through the gated townhouse community where he was staying and where Zimmerman lived. None of the witnesses who were called had a clear view of their encounter.

Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump acknowledged the disappointment of Trayvon Martin’s supporters, ranking the teen alongside civil rights heroes Medgar Evers and Emmett Till in the history of the fight for equal justice.

But he urged them not to resort to violence.

“For Trayvon to rest in peace, we must all be peaceful,” he said.

Similar protests were being reported in other cities including Oakland.

Several vigils for Trayvon Martin were being organized in San Francisco and Oakland via social media in the wake of the verdict.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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