Questions raised in Houston after Zimmerman protests

Some are asking why the demonstrators who blocked a highway weren't arrested

HOUSTON - Questions are being raised in Houston after this week's protests against George Zimmerman's acquittal.

A woman on her way to the hospital says protesters went too far when they gathered on Highway 288.

It was a massive protest Monday evening. Dozens of people marched to voice their anger that a jury in Florida acquitted Zimmerman in connection with the shooting death of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin. The demonstrators ended up blocking traffic on Highway 288 near Southmore.

"They were screaming and hollering and surrounding us beating on the car. It wasn't peaceful. It was terrifying," said Georgia.

She and her family were caught in the middle trying to get to Texas Children's Hospital because her granddaughter was sick. But as they tried to make their way, a Local 2 photographer caught the incident on camera and the video has gone viral.

Georgia and her family were in a black Explorer when a man in a striped shirt reached in and tried to grab her while another protester tries to pull the man away.

"Groups have a right in this country to protest in civil lawful means," said Houston City Council Member Clarence Bradford.

At city council Wednesday, several people commended police for how they've handled the marches.  Still, people are asking why the man in the striped shirt and others who blocked traffic weren't arrested.

"I call on those protesting, demonstrating to do it, but keep in mind we do have a rule of law in our country and our city.," Bradford said.

"It is the responsibility of the officers on the scene to take into take into consideration what is the best way to diffuse the scene," said Mayor Annise Parker.

Georgia has filed a police report and the case is being investigated. Meanwhile, community activist Quanell X, who is planning another rally on Sunday, says he has warned marchers to remain peaceful.

"The Houston police doesn't have a right to commit mass arrest unless we are massively breaking the law and protest under my leadership that would not be happening," Quanell X said.

The next stop for those protesting the verdict in the Zimmerman trial is the neighborhood of River Oaks.

Community leader Quanell X says he and others plan to march through the affluent neighborhood this weekend to make a statement about racial profiling and to voice their anger.

Houston police are preparing for the possibility of counter demonstrations this weekend. A group that supports the verdict is advertising its rally on Facebook and encouraging people to join their march to display their support of the jury's verdict.

Police won't reveal specific security plans, but during other protests earlier this week the measures have included mounted patrol, officers on bicycles and patrol units.

Residents in River Oaks have mixed feelings about the protests.

"I don't know that it's Sanford, Florida, but it's a free country and you have the right to express your opinions in this country and that's what everyone's fought for," said River Oaks resident Kaye Horn.

"It's a very touchy issue, it's hard to voice your opinion, afraid of offending people and you're afraid to say the wrong thing," Sara Zamora said.

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