The Houston Police Department has stepped up its presence in the River Oaks area Sunday afternoon in anticipation of violence breaking out at dueling pro-Zimmerman, pro-Trayvon rallies.
The pro-Trayvon rally was organized by community activist Quanell X, who said that the “call to action” is to protest Zimmerman’s acquittal.
“I’m encouraging everybody who marches with us to remember the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” said X, “and how he protested. Let’s follow those same instructions. Let’s follow that same legacy. And let’s not do anything that would bring shame to the memory of Trayvon Martin and our cause of justice.”
The counter-protest is to show support for the controversial, racially biased “Stand Your Ground” law that was at the heart of Zimmerman’s murder trial.
While some businesses closed early, some never opened, reports KHOU.com. Still others removed their inventory to avoid looting.
Police Chief Charles McClelland is asking that people do not travel to the River Oaks area.
“Sometimes leaders of protest groups lose control of their groups,” McClelland said. “And sometimes their followers don’t follow the script.”
This story is developing…
#FightingForTrayvon: Images of Nationwide Protests
16 photos Launch gallery
1. Protestors converge on Union Square, Sunday, July 14, 2013, in New York. (Photo: AP)
1 of 16
2. A BART police vehicle is vandalized during a protest after George Zimmerman in Oakland, Calif. (Photo: AP)
2 of 16
3. Workers board up windows at Flora restaurant in downtown Oakland, Calif., early Sunday, July 14, 2013, following protests. (Photo: AP)
3 of 16
4. Demonstrators march through the Lower East Side neighborhood of Manhattan in New York, Sunday, July 14, 2013. (Photo: AP)
4 of 16
5. A window is smashed at a Chase Bank in Oakland, Calif. (Photo: AP)
5 of 16
6. Demonstrators converge on Union Square, Sunday, July 14, 2013, in New York, during a protest against the acquittal of neighborhood watch member George Zimmerman. (Photo: AP)
6 of 16
7. People gather Sunday, July 14, 2013, in Raleigh, N.C., to protest the acquittal of George Zimmerman. (Photo: AP)
7 of 16
8. Protesters make their way down Washington Ave., from Grand Circus Park in Detroit to the Federal Building during a protest against the verdict in the trial of George Zimmerman. (Photo: AP)
8 of 16
9. James Brewton, 39, from Brandon, hoists his portrait of Trayvon Martin along with a group of about 175 as they gather at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park in Tampa. (Photo: AP)
9 of 16
10. Demonstrators cross Marietta Street in Atlanta as they march in protest. (Photo: AP)
10 of 16
11. A bag of Skittles candies hangs out of the pocket of Latressa McVey, 35, of Atlanta, during a protest. (Photo: AP)
11 of 16
12. Tabatha Holley, 19, of Dawson, Ga., chants as demonstrators march in protest as a police cruiser follows. (Photo: AP)
12 of 16
13. Abdul Kebbeh, 6, holds a sign at Westlake Park on Sunday, July 14, 2013 in downtown Seattle. (Photo: AP)
13 of 16
14. Demonstrators converge on Union Square, Sunday, July 14, 2013, in New York, during a protest against the acquittal of neighborhood watch member George Zimmerman. (Photo: AP)
14 of 16
15. Nichole Mitchell wipes away tears during the sermon at a youth service at the St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church in Sanford, Fla. (Photo: AP)
15 of 16
16 of 16