Protests As US Jury Acquits man Who Killed Black Teen

Protests As US Jury Acquits man Who Killed Black Teen

Protests As US Jury Acquits man Who Killed Black Teen

Protests were held Sunday after a US jury found George Zimmerman not guilty of murdering unarmed black teen Trayvon Martin, in a racially charged trial that transfixed the country.

The trial aroused strong passions among those who believed that Zimmerman — a volunteer neighborhood watchman whose father is white and whose mother is Peruvian — racially profiled and stalked Martin, and those convinced he acted in self-defense.

Spontaneous protests broke out overnight in US cities including San Francisco, Philadelphia, Chicago, Washington and Atlanta, with larger organized gatherings planned later Sunday.

In Oakland, California, protesters smashed windows and spray painted cars, but most overnight demonstrations were peaceful — and closely watched by police.

Zimmerman, 29, had been accused of pursuing Martin, 17, through a gated community in Sanford, Florida, and shooting him during an altercation on the rainy night of February 26, 2012.

Florida police initially declined to press charges against Zimmerman, sparking mass protests in several US cities. He was eventually arrested in April 2012 and charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter.

The specter of the deadly April 1992 riots in Los Angeles, which broke out after a similarly racially-charged case, still lingers among law enforcement officials.

Fearing violence after the verdict, activists and community leaders appealed for calm. Police were out in force in Sanford, and the crowd of several hundred outside the courthouse was loud at times, but peaceful.

“Obviously, we are ecstatic with the results. George Zimmerman was never guilty of anything except protecting himself in self-defense,” said his lead attorney Mark O’Mara after the verdict.

Defense attorney Don West was even more blunt, calling the prosecution of Zimmerman “disgraceful.”

Defense lawyers insisted Zimmerman feared for his life after Martin attacked him, pinned him to the ground and started slamming his head against the pavement.

Zimmerman is the only living witness to how the fight began.

“Even though I am broken-hearted my faith is unshattered I WILL ALWAYS LOVE MY BABY TRAY,” Martin’s father Tracy wrote on Twitter.

Both he and Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton gave thanks for the outpouring of support they had received over the past year.

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Protests were held Sunday after a US jury found George Zimmerman not guilty of murdering unarmed black teen Trayvon Martin, in a racially charged trial that transfixed the country.

The trial aroused strong passions among those who believed that Zimmerman — a volunteer neighborhood watchman whose father is white and whose mother is Peruvian — racially profiled and stalked Martin, and those convinced he acted in self-defense.

Spontaneous protests broke out overnight in US cities including San Francisco, Philadelphia, Chicago, Washington and Atlanta, with larger organized gatherings planned later Sunday.

In Oakland, California, protesters smashed windows and spray painted cars, but most overnight demonstrations were peaceful — and closely watched by police.

Zimmerman, 29, had been accused of pursuing Martin, 17, through a gated community in Sanford, Florida, and shooting him during an altercation on the rainy night of February 26, 2012.

Florida police initially declined to press charges against Zimmerman, sparking mass protests in several US cities. He was eventually arrested in April 2012 and charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter.

The specter of the deadly April 1992 riots in Los Angeles, which broke out after a similarly racially-charged case, still lingers among law enforcement officials.

Fearing violence after the verdict, activists and community leaders appealed for calm. Police were out in force in Sanford, and the crowd of several hundred outside the courthouse was loud at times, but peaceful.

“Obviously, we are ecstatic with the results. George Zimmerman was never guilty of anything except protecting himself in self-defense,” said his lead attorney Mark O’Mara after the verdict.

Defense attorney Don West was even more blunt, calling the prosecution of Zimmerman “disgraceful.”

Defense lawyers insisted Zimmerman feared for his life after Martin attacked him, pinned him to the ground and started slamming his head against the pavement.

Zimmerman is the only living witness to how the fight began.

“Even though I am broken-hearted my faith is unshattered I will always love my baby tray,” Martin’s father Tracy wrote on Twitter.

Both he and Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton gave thanks for the outpouring of support they had received over the past year.

 

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