A California rally and protest in support of slain Florida teen Trayvon Martin led to law enforcement officials arresting a total of 17 people, including eight juveniles, and a lockdown at the Mall of Victor Valley.
Around 80 protesters met in the mall parking lot on Wednesday, July 17, and marched along Bear Valley Road in protest of the George Zimmerman verdict and in memory of Martin, according to the Desert Dispatch. The group left the mall around 5:45 p.m. Hours later when the protesters returned to the Mall of Victor Valley, several in the crowd became unruly, according to police.
During the march, at 6:50 p.m., there was a theft reported at the Chevron Extra Mile convenience store on Bear Valley Road. Sheriff's spokeswoman Cindy Bachman told the Desert Dispatch that a group of 10 to 15 people went inside the store and opened several items and then left without paying for them.
At least one person was arrested in connection to the convenience store incident, on suspicion of commercial burglary, said Victorville officer Lt. John Billings, who added that at least 13 others ignored several orders from deputies to disperse and were arrested on suspicion of unlawful assembly. Another person, according to Sgt. Robert McCoy, was suspected of possessing brass knuckles and arrested.
Mall security elected to close down the mall when the protesters returned and began to grow unruly. Bachman stated that law enforcement officers were placed at each of the mall's entrances, and would not allow protesters inside. At least one car's windshield in the mall parking lot was smashed by protesters, according to McCoy.
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