• Latest News
  • Pitch a Story
  • Work with a Journalist
  • Join the Blog Squad
  • Afghanistan
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Baltimore
  • Canada
  • Egypt
  • Europe
  • Latin America
  • Middle East
  • Russia
  • Economy
  • Environment
  • Health Care
  • Military
  • Occupy
  • Organize This
  • Reality Asserts Itself
  • US Politics
  • LA Holds Weeklong Protest Demanding Justice For Trayvon Martin

    The discontent of African American community especially the youth, erupted because of the Zimmerman not guilty verdict but reflects systemic bias in the criminal justice system -   July 30, 13
    Members don't see ads. If you are a member, and you're seeing this appeal, click here

    Share to Facebook Share to Twitter

    Finally, News that brings out Facts usually concealed or edited out for Nielsen Ratings-Bravo! - Rev. David
    Log in and tell us why you support TRNN


    Oscar León is an experienced international press correspondent and documentary filmmaker based in Arizona. His work has reached continental TV broadcast in many occasions on Telesur, ECTV, Ecuavisa, Radio Canada, Canal Uno and even Fox Sports Latin America and El Garaje TV; he has been a TRNN correspondent since 2010. Oscar has reported from as many as 9 countries and more than 12 cities in US; his coverage includes TV reports, special reports and TV specials, not only covering social movements, politics and economics but environmental issues, culture and sports as well. This includes the series "Reportero del Sur", "Occupy USA - El Otoño Americano", "Habia una vez en Arizona", "Motor X" all TV mini series broadcasted to all Americas and "Once upon a time in Arizona" finalist in Radio Canada's "Migration" 2010 contest.


    LA Holds Weeklong Protest Demanding Justice For Trayvon MartinOSCAR LEÓN, TRNN PRODUCER: In the wake of the Zimmerman acquittal for the murder of Trayvon Martin and the protests that followed, we move to L.A. The protest there last for a week, from Sunday 14th to the 21st. Los Angeles Times reported 17 total arrest, most of them for unlawful assembly, eight of which were juveniles. For many people, Zimmerman acquittal was the straw that broke the camel's back.

    UNIDENTIFIED: Once again the criminal justice system has betrayed the black community. But was I surprised? Hell no, because I know in my heart that the white people on the jury were people who felt that Zimmerman was more their son then Trayvon Martin.

    LEÓN: In downtown Los Angeles, many march protesting the verdict. But not only Trayvon's murder is the reason for the outrage.

    UNIDENTIFIED: Well, Marissa Alexander, she got, what, 20 years for protecting herself from an abuser? And she had the right to. She was in--standing her ground to defend herself. So obviously the stand-your-ground law in Florida does not apply to black people.

    LEÓN: On Tuesday, many gathered on Leimert Park to protest. Some people diverted from the march and caused numerous damages to public and private property. Even bystanders were assaulted. The local Walmart claims $15,000 of property damage. Many other business around the city are a testimony of the rage. The protest follow [krInS@] Avenue until they reach Hollywood. According to AP, on [incompr.], 13 individuals were arrested. Mainstream media broadly broadcasted the violence. And conservative networks use it to set the tone for its talking panels.

    However, Sunny Sasajima, LAPD senior lead officer of the Southwest District say the police are fully aware that those who vandalize are not the activists who protested in Leimert Park.

    SUNNY SASAJIMA, SENIOR LEAD OFFICER, LAPD SOUTHWEST DIVISION: But just to make it clear, you know, we believe and in talking with a lot of people it really wasn't the case that the protesters or the folks that were gathered here at the park were causing the problems. It's people that use the protest as an excuse to come out here and cause problems.

    LEÓN: He further states that LAPD is not a racist institution.

    SASAJIMA: You look around our police department, if you go around and take a look at our department as a whole, you see black, white, Hispanic, Asians. You see black, white, Hispanic, you know, basically all races at various levels of our department. So to say that there's, like, blatant racism, I don't believe that that's the case.

    LEÓN: However, while the individuals might not be racist, the policies might very well be. At least that is what the work of Ashley Franklyn from the Labor Strategy Community Center seems to show.

    ASHLEY FRANKLYN, LABOR STRATEGY COMMUNITY CENTER: So we have 2.3 million people in prison. One million of them are black folks. Five hundred thousand and counting are Latino folks. We have the largest school police department, and they have over a $54 million budget, right, and at the time where we only have one counselor per 1,016 students. Right? Black students are six times more likely than a white person to be arrested. Latino students are four times as likely than a white student to be arrested.

    So, given these conditions inside of schools, we have to talk about school-to-prison pipeline. What are the laws and the policies that are pushing our students outside of schools and making it so hostile and uncomfortable that they're not learning in schools?

    LEÓN: Lola Smallwood Cuevas, from the Los Angeles Black Worker Center, believes unemployment is one of the main causes for the youngsters' outrage.

    LOLA SMALLWOOD CUEVAS, LOS ANGELES BLACK WORKER CENTER: The poverty that generationally our families have experienced is pretty much the same for most African-American communities. I mean, here in L.A. County, we have an unemployment rate amongst black working-age adults of about 21 percent. We have an underemployment rate of about 35 percent. So you have, you know, over half of the black community in a compounded crisis.

    LEÓN: The Black Worker Center is organizing a broad coalition of black workers in South L.A. to demand a fair share of the construction jobs created by the Obama administration's stimulus plan. She says that on the first stage, the jobs were filled mostly with Latinos and white workers, leaving the black community very unhappy. Smallwood believes the youth is especially at risk in this issue.

    SMALLWOOD CUEVAS: You see sort of in the civil rights movement opportunities to come into jobs, and then in the '80s a complete shutdown and a closing of the door and sort of regression and going back to lack of opportunity. And so, you know, I would say in the last 30 years the crisis has gotten to a point where, you know, young black men like Trayvon, unemployment for those young men in our communities at 66 percent, right? So that's, like, a genocidal level. At this point, because of, you know, the deindustrialization of cities, because of the de-unionization, because of the deregulation that allows companies to just outsource work, to pick up and to move to places where it's cheaper and you can really profit off of people, because of all of that, we have been in this spiral down. And it's created--you know, what's left behind is violence, is hopelessness, is despair, is broken schools, is lack of credit, is poor health. You know. So the economic condition is the root of a lot of what's happening in the black community.

    LEÓN: On Leimert Park we found Luigi, a rapper from the band Witchkraft. He incarnates a generation that meet criminalization and jail at an early age.

    LUIGI, RAPPER, WITCHKRAFT: I mean, I'm from Long Beach originally. I'm from a neighborhood, I'm from [incompr.] everybody robbing people, shooting people. But my mom took the the determination to take me out the neighborhood and for me--to take me somewhere where I could be better and [incompr.] myself and graduate high school at least. [incompr.] people walking around this park right now ain't graduated high school. Know what I'm saying?

    But look at them. Look at them looking at us. You know what I'm saying? Like, they're ready to hop out the car and beat--the cops are riding four deep. You understand? Listen, the cops are riding four deep in the car. You're not paying attention to what the cops are doing. You don't understand, 'cause you're not from around here. When the cop car is driving past, it's the cage behind the back seat. The doors are locked, so you can't unlock it. These guys take the cages out. Look at them looking at us. They take the cages out the back seat, unlock the back doors. So it's four people riding in one car. They're ready to hop out and beat somebody up and hop in the car and go do it to the next black man or a Mexican or a white, whoever is protesting. You know what I'm saying?

    LEÓN: Osbe, another rapper from the band, has lost all faith in the system.

    OSBE, RAPPER, WITCHKRAFT: This is an ongoing thing. Like, society [incompr.] all type of loopholes that we all know about that they're getting over with. You know. Injustice [incompr.] all of that, especially on black people and minorities, period, but especially on black people. You know what I'm saying? It's been going on for years, since slavery.

    LEÓN: J Millz thinks generation X could change the world.

    J MILLZ, RAPPER, WITCHKRAFT: If we--if our generation can put their mind to the point and the maximum capacity of what they can do, they can change the world.

    LEÓN: However, many in Leimert Park doubt that the generation X can fight back and get real changes like those in the '60s.

    RUDOLPH PORTER, L.A. PHILHARMONIC RETIREE: I think they're capable, but I must say I'm still in question about this young, wild, youthful generation now. I'm not quite sure where they're going to take it.

    KUNTA SMITH, MUSICIAN: During my generation, we struggled for equality in this country. So when we couldn't get equality, we had to fight for it and march for it in the street. This new generation, they're all about tattoos, killing each other. So they're not about unity like we were.

    LEÓN: The racial struggle is connected to the economic one. And if a change is to be implemented, a more tactical approach is needed. That is the thinking of David Hickman, a disabled war veteran.

    DAVID HICKMAN, DISABLED WAR VETERAN: Young people today, they don't understand that. They think that they're supposed to create havoc and melee throughout the United States for what happened. That's not the way to handle that situation, because it is politically and politically minded to know how to handle that situation so you won't get in trouble. I don't want to go to jail. But I don't mind voicing my opinion.

    LEÓN: Maybe Hickman has a point and a strong African-American political movement is needed. Here are some disturbing facts. In an article of the Black Agenda Report, Dr. Reginald Clarke notes that since the president, Obama, was elected, the only group whose situation has not improved as far as employment goes are the African American, for example going from underemployment to steady jobs, while other racial groups have decreased its underemployment at a rate of 20 percent. Clark says, "The rate of under-employment for blacks has increased from 16% in 2009 to 20% at the end of 2012. This represents a 25% worsening in the rate of black underemployment during Obama's first term in office."

    The New York Times shows another stunning disparity. In an article by Sam Roberts, The Times review a study by Becky Pettit and Brian Sykes, who try to quantify statistics about African-American populations and found that "The real problem ... is that imprisoned black men aren't figured into statistics about the standing of African-Americans. The consequence, she says, is an overstatement of black progress in education, employment, wages, and voting participation." They further note that "By the time they turn 18, one in four black children will have experienced the imprisonment of a parent. More young black dropouts are in prison or jail than have paying jobs. Black men are more likely to go to prison than to graduate with a four-year college degree or complete military service. Black dropouts are more likely to spend at least a year in prison than to get married." In the article of The New York Times, Dr. Pettit states, "Among low-skill black men, spending time in prison has become a normative life event, furthering their segregation from mainstream society."

    After a week of demonstration, many arrests, and thousands of dollars of property damage and overtime for police officers, demonstrations readily toned down. Justice Department says it is determining if it will file civil right charges against Zimmerman. But many are demanding the Department of Justice take more profound action.

    Reporting for The Real News, this is Oscar León.


    DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.


    Our automatic spam filter blocks comments with multiple links and multiple users using the same IP address. Please make thoughtful comments with minimal links using only one user name. If you think your comment has been mistakenly removed please email us at


    Latest Stories

    Israel Uses Refugees as "Currency" in Arms Trade with Africa
    Who Will Pay for Climate Change Disaster?
    Canada Shifts to Right Under Harper, Mimicking the United States
    The Savings and Loan Crisis Demonstrates the Importance of Glass Steagall
    South African Platinum Miner's Struggle Challenges ANC Leadership
    TRNN Original Report: Manning Determined to Fight Back After Army Upholds 35- Year Sentence
    Hundredth Anniversary of the Ludlow Massacre
    The Bundy Ranch Standoff Demonstrates Values Shared by Corporations and the Far Right
    The Resegregation of American Schools
    The Modern History of Venezuela, Why Still So Much Crime? - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (7/9)
    What Role Has Russia Played in Eastern Ukraine?
    Can Johns Hopkins Afford to Pay A Living Wage? (2/2)
    University Sit-In Targets World's Largest Private Coal Company
    The Modern History of Venezuela and the Need for a Post-Oil Economy - Edgardo Lander on RAI (6/9)
    Can Johns Hopkins Afford to Pay A Living Wage? (1/2)
    One Percent of Environmentalists Killings Lead to Convictions
    Investigation Finds Former Ukraine President Not Responsible For Sniper Attack on Protestors
    The Modern History of Venezuela from 1973 to the Caracazo Massacre - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (3/9)
    Ukraine Transitional Gov't Moves Militarily To Reclaim Seized Buildings
    IPCC Report Flawed By Narrow Focus on Carbon Emissions
    The Modern History of Venezuela: The Bolivarian Revolution - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (5/9)
    Obama Signs Directives to Reduce the Gender Wage Gap
    Eastern Ukraine Lacks Political Representation in Kiev
    Demystifying the Role of Mitigation in the Most Recent IPCC Report
    Hypersurveillance State Won't Prevent Another Boston Marathon Bombing
    The Modern History of Venezuela from 1973 to the Caracazo Massacre - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (3/9)
    Univ. of Maine Faculty Reinstated After Students Protest Against Cuts
    The Modern History of Venezuela from 1908 to 1973 - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (2/9)
    IMF Will Address Global Inequality, Says Managing Director Christine Lagarde
    Raising Big Banks' Leverage Ratio Good, But Not Nearly Enough
    TRNN Replay: Austerity Road to 19th Century
    Has Palestinian Maneuvering Revived Peace Talks?
    Late Jackson Mayor Lumumba's Son Wins Primary to Replace His Father, Runoff Election Ahead
    Quebecers Reject PQ and Elect a Liberal Government Representing Big Business
    TRNN Debate: Decriminalization vs. Legalization
    The Beginning of the Chavez Era - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (4/9)
    "Off With His Head": Court Upholds Obama's Power to Kill
    Workers at Nation's Top Hospital Strike For Fair Wages
    From Exile to Radicalization in Venezuela - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (1/9)
    Rwanda 20 Years Later: Genocide, Western Plunder of Congo, and President Kagame
    Ukrainian Protesters in the East Demand More Autonomy From Kiev Government
    Hunger Strikers Demand President Obama Halt His Record 2 Million Deportations
    Indian Parliamentary Elections - A Primer With Vijay Prashad
    West Looks to Carve Up Ukraine & Privatize Industries Held by Kleptocrats
    Where Are Israeli-Palestinian Peace Negotiations Headed?
    The Multiple Kingdoms of Saudi Arabia (5/5)
    Do the Afghan Presidential Elections Signify Progress?
    Republican Presidential Hopefuls Pay Homage to Billionaire Casino Tycoon Sheldon Adelson
    Will Extremist Lieberman Become Israel's Next Prime Minister?
    Why do the Saudis Want the US to Attack Iran? (4/5)
    Immigrant Advocates and Families Tell President Obama 'Not One More'
    Elections, Pipelines, and Protests - The Canada Panel
    Chris Hedges on "Israel's War on American Universities"
    Baltimore Residents Decry Lack of Affordable Housing
    Yellen Talks the Talk But Will She Walk the Walk?
    Hopkins Hospital Workers Speak Out against "Poverty Wages"
    Will Venezuela's New Floating Exchange Rate Curb Inflation?
    The European Central Bank's War on Wages is Pushing Europe's Economy to the Brink
    Supreme Court Decision Opens Floodgates for More Campaign Cash
    Charles Keating, the Financier Behind the Savings and Loan Scandal, Dies at 90
    Saudi Arabia and the al-Qaeda Monster (3/5)
    Maryland Residents Voice Opposition to Natural Gas Fracking Export Facility
    Supreme Court Ruling Gives Wealthy Individuals More Influence Over Elections
    What are the Saudis Afraid Of? - Madawi Al-Rasheed (2/5)
    Baltimore's MICA Adjunct Professors Set to Vote on Unionization
    Boycott of Israel Moving to Next Level?
    Hypocrisy Dressed Up as "Realism" Justifies American Alliance with Saudi Dictatorship
    Immigration Reform in the Shadows of Cesar Chavez's Legacy
    Leaked Senate Report Shows Use of Torture As "Ineffective"
    UN Report Says Climate Change Will Threaten Food Production Worldwide
    The Hypocrisy of US Calling for Enforcement of International Law
    How the Ecuadorian Economy Grew in a Global Recession
    'Shadows of Liberty' Trailer
    Kristina Borjesson on Why CBS Shut Down Her investigation into Flight 800 (2/8)
    Glen Ford on Racism in the American Media (3/8)
    Paul Jay on What Drives Corporate Media and What Drive The Real News (4/8)
    Creating a New Media Paradigm After Citizens United (5/8)
    Should The Left Engage with the Mainstream Media? (6/8)
    What Is the Financial Backing For The Real News? (7/8)
    Standing up to Character Assassination (8/8)
    Oligarchs, Fascists and the People's Protest in Ukraine
    TRNN Debate: Is Obamacare In the Interest of Workers?
    Too-Big-To-Fail Advantage Remains Intact For Big Banks
    Obama and the Saudi Agenda
    TRNN Replay: Investigating the Saudi Government's 9/11 Connection and the Path to Disilliusionment - Sen. Graham on Reality Asserts Itself pt 1
    The Iraq War's Real Legacy
    Petitions with 100,000+ Signatures Call for Snowden's Passport to be Reinstated
    We Need to Harness People Power - Andy Shallal on Reality Asserts Itself (4/4)
    BC Pipeline Fight and Quebec Elections - The Canada Panel
    Jonathan Schell - 1943-2014: Board Member of TRNN on Why We Need The Real News
    Teachers on Strike from the UK to Argentina
    Connecticut Poised to Become First State with $10.10 Minimum Wage
    Oil Spill Threatens Wildlife and Local Economy
    DC School Test Scores Up, But Poor Black Kids Are Doing Worse - Andy Shallal on RAI (3/4)
    Obama's Proposal To End NSA Bulk Data Collection Won't Protect Privacy
    How Google, Apple & The Biggest Tech Companies Colluded to Fix Workers' Wages
    An American Should be One that Questions Their Government - Andy Shallal on RAI (2/4)
    What's Driving Putin & Obama's Posturing on Ukraine?
    Hundreds of Students & Faculty Occupy College Campus to Fight Cuts to Public Higher Ed
    Due Process 'Impossible' In Harsh Death Sentencing Of Over 500 Muslim Brotherhood Members
    Has Anglo-American Capitalism Run Out of Steam?
    Being the "Other" in America - Andy Shallal on Reality Asserts Itself (1/4)
    TRNN Debate: Should Baltimore 'Ban The Box'?
    How Fallujah Became the Iraqi Government's New Battleground
    Why I Decided to Blow the Whistle on the NSA
    NASA Climate Predictions Show Serious Threat To Humanity
    Professor Who Teaches Israel-Palestine Conflict Accuses College of Violating His Academic Freedom
    CIA and NSA Wrongdoing Requires Independent Investigation, Says Former Church Committee Staff
    Are Tuition Breaks Enough To Combat High Student Debt And Low Graduation Rates?
    Industries Across the U.S. Are Stealing Wages From Their Lowest Paid Workers
    Who In Ukraine Will Benefit From An IMF Bailout?
    NSA Recording All International Calls From U.S.
    Israel "Making Lives Miserable" for Africans, Hoping They 'Self-Deport' (2/2)
    BP Gets Green Light to Drill in Gulf, But Has Safety Improved?
    Residents Still Not Drinking Tap Water Two Months After West Virginia Spill (1/2)
    Libya's Descent Into Turmoil Three Years After NATO Intervention
    From Pipelines to Peladeau - Canadian Report
    Israel "Making Lives Miserable" for Africans, Hoping They 'Self-Deport' (1/2)
    Congressional Progressive Caucus Budget Strikes Back Against Austerity
    Libya Three Years Later - Chaos and Partition
    Why Was Gaddafi Overthrown?
    Should Ukraine and West Accept De Facto Crimea Joining Russia? (2/2)
    Tony Benn Saw Socialism as the Culmination of Democratization
    Why Didn't Bush/Cheney Attack Iran and Can Obama Make and Sell a Deal? - Gareth Porter on Reality Asserts Itself (3/3)
    After Late Mayor Lumumba is Laid to Rest, What's Next for Jackson, Mississippi? (2/2)
    Crimea Referendum: Self Determination or Big Power Manipulation? (1/2)
    Sen. Graham: President Must Side with Openness About CIA and 9/11
    Manufacturing a Narrative for War - Gareth Porter on Reality Asserts Itself (2/3)
    Protesters Hit the Streets of Brooklyn to Demand $15 Minimum Wage
    Hammer: 'Moral Bankruptcy' Behind Massive GM Recall
    White House Withholds Thousands of Documents from Senate CIA Probe
    I Grew Up Believing in Time Magazine's Version of America - Gareth Porter on RAI (1/3)
    Western European Banks Vulnerable to Ukrainian Sovereign Debt Crisis
    TRNN Debate: What's Driving Inflation in Venezuela? (2/2)
    CIA vs. Senate: Who Is Obama Protecting?
    Will Tipped Workers Get Excluded Again From Minimum Wage Hike?
    TRNN Debate: What's Driving Inflation in Venezuela? (1/2)
    After Late Mayor Lumumba is Laid to Rest, What's Next for Jackson, Mississippi?(1/2)
    TRNN Replay: A Look at Who's Poised to Become No.2 at the Fed
    How Right-Wing Nationalism Rose to Influence in Ukraine (2/2)
    Netanyahu Attacks Boycott As Campaign Enters New Phase
    Moving Towards a Police State - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (7/7)
    Fighting Reagan's Secret, Illegal Wars - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (6/7)
    Puerto Rican Independence Movement and Cuba Further Radicalized Me - Michael Ratner on RAI (5/7)
    The Butcher of Attica - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (4/7)
    MLK and a Radicalizing Moment in American History - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (3/7), Real News Network, Real News, Real News For Real People, IWT are trademarks and service marks of IWT.TV inc. "The Real News" is the flagship show of IWT and Real News Network.

    All original content on this site is copyright of The Real News Network.  Click here for more

    Problems with this site? Please let us know

    Linux VPS Hosting by Star Dot Hosting