Fearful that violent demonstrators will again tarnish their peaceful rallies, South Los Angeles leaders have enlisted volunteer monitors to help prevent raucous behavior.
A Leimert Park prayer vigil was marred Monday night after a group of 150 protesters rampaged along Crenshaw Boulevard, breaking windows, lighting fireworks and storming a Wal-Mart in Crenshaw Plaza. Los Angeles Police arrested 14 people, including six juveniles, on suspicion of failing to disperse.
Earl Ofari Hutchinson with Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable, said Trayvon Martin Community Peace and Justice Monitors would be on the streets at sunset to talk with protesters and urge them to demonstrate peacefully.
“The way to honor Trayvon Martin’s memory and respect his family is no violence. No disruptions. Nothing. That undermines and that undoes everything that Travyon Martin stood for. Violence was not part of it. He was a victim of violence,” Hutchinson told KCRW’s Saul Gonzalez.
“We don’t want to see any repetition of what we saw last night,” he continued. “Any chance of violence, the community will suffer. We live in this community. We shop in the community. We bank in this community. Our children go to school in this community. We have a deep stake in peace in this community. We also have deep stake in seeing that justice is done too, but justice is not going to be done through violence.”