Trayvon Martin Protesters Ransacked North Miami Beach Walgreens

Dozens of protesters tore through drug store, destroyed merchandise: Police

By Brian Hamacher
|  Tuesday, Mar 27, 2012  |  Updated 7:56 PM EDT
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North Miami Beach Police are investigating after a group of high school students who walked out of school in protest of the Trayvon Martin shooting were caught on video ransacking a drug store last week.

North Miami Beach Police are investigating after a group of high school students who walked out of school in protest of the Trayvon Martin shooting were caught on video ransacking a drug store last week.

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Students Protesting In Support of Trayvon Martin Ransack Walgreens

North Miami Beach Police are investigating after a group of high school students who walked out of school in protest of the Trayvon Martin shooting were caught on video ransacking a drug store last week. Police released the surveillance on Tuesday.

Miami Lakes Students March For Trayvon

In Miami-Dade, several dozen students from the Miami Lakes Educational Center marched after school Monday in support of Trayvon Martin, before a planned meetup with students from a dozen or so other schools. The group headed north before turning west onto NW 183rd St. (SR 860) just before 3:30 p.m. with the aid of a slew of police vehicles who shut down a major intersection. They gathered for a prayer at the end, and students thanked police for their help.
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North Miami Beach Police are investigating after a group of high school students who walked out of school in protest of the Trayvon Martin shooting were caught on video ransacking a drug store last week.

The incident happened shortly before 11 a.m. Friday at the Walgreens at 1501 Northeast 163rd Street, minutes after between 400-500 North Miami Beach Senior High students walked out to protest the 17-year-old's shooting death in Sanford.

According to North Miami Beach Police, the protest was mostly peaceful and orderly with the exception of the 80-100 students who flooded into the Walgreen's store, ransacking shelving displays and breaking merchandise.

About $150 worth of merchandise was broken and police and the store haven't been able to determine whether any items were stolen, authorities said.

Police say video shows the school's assistant principal trying to stop students from entering the store and telling others already inside to leave.

Police are trying to identify some of the offenders who were seen possibly taking or breaking merchandise.

"Our police department fully understands that our country was founded on free speech and we agree that all people have a right to peacefully march in protest.  We will even help with law enforcement duties to facilitate such orderly demonstrations," North Miami Beach Interim Police Chief Larry Gomer said in a statement. "However, criminal acts will not be tolerated. This instance crossed that line, and will not be tolerated now or in the future. We all understand that this is a very emotional issue but when our businesses or our community are negatively impacted by anyone breaking a law, we will enforce those laws without question."

Walgreens said they are cooperating fully with police.

Students from several South Florida schools held walkouts Friday to protest the Feb. 26 shooting of the teen by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman.

Though Martin was unarmed, Zimmerman told police the shooting was self-defense, and no charges have been filed in the case.

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