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Reaction to George Zimmerman's Verdict - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Reaction to George Zimmerman's Verdict

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A jury found George Zimmerman not guilty of murdering Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, last year.

Martin's killing in February 2012 unleashed debate across the U.S. over racial profiling, self-defense and equal justice.

Prosecutors initially declined to charge Zimmerman with murder, based on Florida's "stand your ground" law. 

That law makes it legal to use deadly force if the person fears they are in danger of being killed themselves. 

Zimmerman claimed he killed Martin in self defense.


Rallies follow Zimmerman verdict


NEW YORK (AP) - The acquittal of George Zimmerman in the killing of an unarmed teen last year has touched off mostly peaceful demonstrations large and small across the country, with protesters calling the verdict a miscarriage of justice.

Church services and street protests ranging from a few dozen to hundreds of people on Sunday decried the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin as a tragedy made worse by a flawed verdict.

In New York City protesters at a massive gathering in Union Square hoisted placards bearing Martin's picture. In the Florida city where the trial took place teens wearing shirts bearing his picture attended a youth service.

Sunday's protests were largely peaceful. But in Oakland, Calif. one demonstration ended in vandalism in the hours after Saturday's verdict. Another protest in Los Angeles was broken up by police firing beanbag rounds.

Zimmerman case under review

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Justice Department says it is looking into the shooting death of Trayvon Martin to determine whether federal prosecutors should file criminal civil rights charges now that George Zimmerman has been acquitted in the state case.

The department opened an investigation into Martin's death last year but stepped aside to allow the state prosecution to proceed.

In a statement Sunday, the Justice Department said the criminal section of the civil rights division, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's office for the Middle District of Florida are continuing to evaluate the evidence generated during the federal probe, in addition to the evidence and testimony from the state trial.

The statement said that, in the government's words, "experienced federal prosecutors will determine whether the evidence reveals a prosecutable violation."

Obama's Statement

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama says the death of Trayvon Martin was a tragedy for America.

Obama says he knows the not-guilty verdict reached late Saturday has elicited strong passions around the country. In a statement released Sunday, Obama is asking that all Americans respect the call for calm reflection. There have been a number of rallies and protests, most of which have been peaceful.

Obama says Americans should ask themselves if they're doing all they can to stem gun violence, and what can be done to prevent future tragedies like the Florida shooting.


 

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