San Bernardino police arrested 11 people Thursday night after protesters decrying the acquittal of George Zimmerman began throwing rocks and bottles, attacking officers and pedestrians.
The incident began at about 8 p.m. as marchers moved south along Highland Avenue and were joined by others not initially involved with what was a peaceful protest at that point, according to police.
Protesters ended up at a Jack in the Box restaurant near Waterman Avenue and Baseline Street. Police, some on horseback, encountered a group of about 120 people, some of whom threw rocks and bottles at passing motorists and police officers, according to police. At least one police car was damaged by a rock.
Most of the group left after officers gave several orders to disperse, police said. But about 50 people moved behind cinder-block walls and threw more rocks and bottles, while some people ran and began attacking and robbing pedestrians, according to police.
Those arrested could face charges including assault with a deadly weapon, battery, assault on a police horse, assault on a peace officer and vandalism, authorities said.
"They just saw the opportunity for civil unrest," said Lt. Mike Madden of the San Bernardino Police Department.
Thursday night's incident in San Bernardino marked the latest in a series of violent uprisings stemming from Zimmerman protests in Southern California. The night before in Victorville, authorities arrested 17 people after a group allegedly tried to force its way into the Mall of Victor Valley.
In Hollywood on Tuesday night, a "flash mob" rushed down Hollywood Boulevard, stealing phones, knocking over tourists and vandalizing shops, according to police, who said it may have been related to the Zimmerman verdict. Twelve people — 11 juveniles and one 18-year-old -- were arrested on suspicion of robbery.
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