Two Zimmerman verdict demonstrations to be held this weekend in River Oaks

One group plans to show its support for George Zimmerman, while the other is still seething about the verdict

Author: Mary Benton, Reporter, mbenton@kprc.com
Published On: Jul 18 2013 06:51:42 PM CDT
protest safety preperations
HOUSTON -

Houston Police Chief Charles A. McClelland Jr. says his department is gearing up to keep people safe and protect property during two demonstrations scheduled to take place Sunday in River Oaks.

One march is being held by community activist Quanell X and his followers, who are still seething about the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial.

However, another group plans to show its support for Zimmerman, and on Facebook, the organizer is urging people to show up with their weapons, if they have concealed handgun licenses.

"As for people's fear for counter protestors who may be armed, I understand that fear and fears reasonable," said the chief during a meeting with reporters. "However, this is Texas. People can carry their handgun if they have a concealed handgun license and I have no authority to stop them."

HPD has reached out to both organizations planning to rally in an effort to calm tensions and ease fear of River Oaks residents.

"So that we can sit down and formulate a plan. Not only will the public feel safe, but the protestors feel safe because they'll know exactly what they should do and should not do," said Assistant Chief Mark Eisenman, who is in charge of the department's Homeland Security Unit.

On Saturday, several Houston churches plan to hold a peaceful rally at Houston city hall.

This is part of a 100 city movement organized by Reverend Al Sharpton of the National Action Network.