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Houston family's trip to hospital interrupted by demonstrators protesting George Zimmerman verdict

6:03 PM, Jul 17, 2013   |    comments
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HOUSTON (LOCAL 2) -- Hundreds of people marched in protest to the George Zimmerman verdict on Monday.

"No justice, no peace," they yelled as they walked from the Byrd Funeral Home in the 2500 block of Wheeler to the Southmore Street overpass bridge near Highway 288.

Just after 7 p.m. Monday, the demonstrators spilled out onto the road and blocked traffic for about 15 minutes.

"I looked up and I see all the protesters, they're everywhere," said Georgia, who asked that her last name not be used. "So, we got into the traffic and they're stopping us and not letting us go."

Georgia was on her way to Texas Children's Hospital in the Medical Center because her 7-year-old granddaughter was having an allergic reaction to some medication.

Georgia's daughter was driving and tried to go around the demonstrators by driving on the grassy shoulder.

"One of them was hitting the windshield and I was just screaming, 'We've got to get to the hospital,' and they were screaming and chanting," she said. "All I could think of was, I got to get my granddaughter to the hospital."

"My mom rolled down the window," said Georgia's daughter. "She said, 'We're trying to get my granddaughter to the hospital,' and a guy just started hitting her."

A Local 2 camera covering the protest recorded the entire incident. On the video you could see Georgia sitting in the front seat of an SUV, she had her window down and you can see a man reach in and grab her. Georgia said she was hit.

"When we got on the road I told her, 'Let's call 911," and I could feel I had been hit," she said.

The family is upset by the whole incident and thinks the demonstrators took things too far. Georgia filed a police report and hopes that things will quiet down.

"It wasn't peaceful," she said. "It was terrifying."

Quanell X, the community activist who planned the event, told Local 2 he thought the protest was peaceful.

He also said he gave specific instructions to participants not to break any laws and not to touch or harm anyone.

The Houston Police Department did have a few officers on scene and told Local 2 it's unclear how the demonstrators were able to get onto the freeway, but the officers were working to remove them.

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