Zimmerman verdict. L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti is urging Angelenos to protest peacefully after several clashes between police and demonstrators upset by the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.
Garcetti made his plea on Twitter last night after protesters threw rocks and batteries at officers. Several people have been arrested, including one who was among a group of demonstrators that blocked the 10 Freeway for an hour at Crenshaw Boulevard. Police cleared the scene by firing non-lethal beanbags at protesters.
The demonstrators were incensed by Zimmerman’s acquittal. Barbara Harding told KCRW that racial justice remains elusive in American society decades after the Civil Rights movement.
“They just now killed this young man and walked off scot-free,” Harding said. “Nothing but a dead black kid, and heartbroken parents, and a community that doesn’t really know exactly which way to go, but that we are being backed into a corner. And we’re going to have to come out fighting, and that’s it!”
Several people were arrested early this morning when they blocked traffic on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood and police declared an unlawful assembly. A citywide tactical alert remains in effect. L.A. Times
Road woes. Getting between Griffith Park and downtown L.A. is a real challenge again today. All lanes on the northbound 5 Freeway at the 2 and two lanes on the southbound 5 are still closed because of that spectacular tanker truck fire this weekend. Caltrans says it hopes to have at least some southbound lanes open for the morning commute tomorrow. But the transition roads between the 5 and 2 freeways could be blocked for weeks as contractors shore up two tunnels damaged by the blaze. The tanker dumped 8,500 gallons of gasoline onto the road, some of it spilling into the Los Angeles River and setting the water ablaze. The driver wasn’t injured. KABC
Arts mess. L.A.’s troubled high school for the arts has lost another principal. Norman Isaacs says he’s leaving the Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts because of a lack of arts funding. Isaacs is the school’s fourth principal in five years. The $232 million campus opened in 2009 and was originally intended to serve the district’s most talented arts students. But School Board member Monica Garcia pushed to ensure that 70 percent of students come from the surrounding neighborhood. Isaacs says he resigned because of a lack of support from the district and ongoing uncertainty about arts funding. L.A. Times
Broadcast blunder. Asiana Airlines says it’s suing a San Francisco TV station that listed fake, racially derogatory names for pilots of a plane that crashed at San Francisco Airport, killing three people and injuring dozens The airline says the fake names – including Capt. Sum Ting Wong – severely damaged its reputation. Fox affiliate KTVU has apologized for not catching the phony names before they were read on air. The National Transportation Safety Board has also apologized – saying an intern confirmed the names. It’s still not clear, though, who made them up. CNN
Dorner fallout. The lawyer for a man who says he was severely injured by Torrance police during the manhunt for Christopher Dorner is blasting the city for proposing to pay defense attorneys more than his client was offered to settle the suit. Thirty-eight-year-old airline baggage handler David Perdue says he suffered brain and spinal injuries when officers rammed his pickup truck, pulled him from the vehicle pushed him face down into the road. He’s seeking $4 million in damages. Daily Breeze
Mansion death. The family of a woman found hanging in a historic San Diego mansion is challenging the medical examiner’s conclusion that her death was suicide. Rebecca Zehau was found naked, hanging from the neck in the courtyard of pharmaceutical executive Jonah Shacknai’s home two years ago this week. Zahau had been living at the home with Shacknai and his 6-year-old son. Her body was discovered hours after doctors told the family that the boy would not survive a fall that occurred on the grand staircase of the home two days earlier. The mansion was once owned by San Diego sugar magnate John Spreckels. U-T San Diego