From Florida to Chicago, public reacts to Zimmerman acquittal

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From Florida to right here in Chicago, the public reacted Sunday to the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

A Florida jury on Saturday night found Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, not guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter in a shooting that grew from a confrontation as Martin, 17, walked home from a convenience store in February 2012.

29-year-old Zimmerman is spending his first full day of freedom in hiding. Death threats have followed him since the shooting back in February 2012.

The parents of Trayvon Martin are said to be devastated by the jury’s finding of “not guilty.” Through social media they have asked for calm. They rely on relatives to be their voice.

Throughout the nation last night, protests brought out angry vocal crowds but there were few reports of violence or damage. Even in Sanford, the site of the courtroom battle,  there was only a tepid reaction to the acquittal.

But that doesn’t mean the debates of injustice, racial profiling and gun violence were silent.

Raw: Trayvon Martin rally held at Daley PlazaIn Chicago alone there was plenty of reaction. At Saint Sabina Church, Father Michael Pfleger and parishioners held up signs with Martin’s name.

Several hundred protestors gathered at Daley Plaza also shared their frustrations over the verdict. They continued with a march throughout the Loop, some wearing hoodies similar to Martin.

And at Rainbow Push Headquarters a gathering was held as well  with the Rev Jackson heading to Orlando to meet with Martin’s parents.

From  the White House, President Obama called Martin’s death a tragedy for America.

“I know this case has elicited strong passions. And in the wake of the verdict, I know those passions may be running even higher,” he said.

“I now ask every American to respect the call for calm reflection from two parents who lost their young son. And as we do, we should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to widen the circle of compassion and understanding in our own communities.

“We should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence that claims too many lives across this country on a daily basis,” Obama said.

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  • Hal

    I'm reacting with a big smile and I am glad the jury made the right choice by listening to facts and not emotion or pressure from the liberal media. I am reacting with a nice steak dinner and cold beer with friends. That's how I'm reacting to the verdict.

  • Carl

    When are we going to stop blaming the white man for all of are problems.We as a people seem to ignore the constant black on black murders that is occurring in this country everyday.I can’t even stomach the things our people do to eachother.All we do is have neighborhood rally’s against violence and it stops there.Stop using the race card for a scapegoat and start saving our nations youth.

    • BigD

      I think celebration of an innocent man vindicated by a jury in this case is not the same as celebrating anyone's death.

      Oh, Martin was no child by any stretch, except in having sense.

  • bobhamiltonchicago

    First they say that they don't want to be racially profiled, then they're carrying signs saying they're all Treyvon! Were these protestors out marching when OJ Simpson was acquitted?

  • nichole davis

    The “facts” of this case is that ZImmerman followed Martin, thinking he was a criminal because he was a young black male wearing a hoodie in a predominantly white neighborhood. He was there visiting his dad and wearing the hoodie because it was raining. Zimmerman was told not to follow him because authorities were on the way. Instead he took it upon himself to confront Martin which caused things to get way out of hand. It seems to me that Martin was defending himself and unfortunately his life was taken. I can’t imagine what his parents must be going thru, having to relive this nightmare in public while everyday looking at the man that killed there child…and getting away with it !!! I’m so sorry !!!

  • Guest

    WGN….Really? Putting the race baiter Jackson on live to spill his drivel? I thought you were a semi-credible news outlet. Sorry, but you have proven me wrong.

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