California cities had "Justice for Tayvon" Martin protests against Zimmerman acquittal

LA police watched closely to prevent violence

LOS ANGELES - Hundreds have gathered in downtown Los Angeles to call on federal prosecutors to bring civil rights charges against neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman in the shooting of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.

Protesters listened to community leaders speak on Saturday morning, chanting "no justice, no peace!" and carrying signs critical Zimmerman's acquittal.

Police pledged vigilance after a Los Angeles demonstration earlier this week resulted in a small number of protesters splitting from a peaceful prayer rally to run through the streets, jumping on cars, punching bystanders and raiding a store.

Protests were also under way in San Francisco and other cities, with afternoon rallies planned in Sacramento, Oakland and Palmdale.

California's demonstrations are part of rallies across the country called "Justice for Trayvon."

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