As predicted, the not guilty verdict of George Zimmerman stirred up emotions and passion from many Americans. Regardless of race, occupation, or political standing, it seems as though everyone had an opinion on the decision. Unfortunately I would argue that many were ill-informed on the facts, but in America everyone has a right to their opinion.
Here's a round-up of some of the reaction from around the nation …
Trayvon Martin's family was not in the courtroom at the time the verdict was read, but Trayvon's father soon took to Twitter to write: “Even though I am broken hearted my faith is unshattered I WILL ALWAYS LOVE MY BABY TRAY.” Trayvon's mother Sybrina Fulton Tweeted: “Lord during my darkest hour I lean on you. You are all that I have. At the end of the day, GOD is still in control. Thank you all for your prayers and support. I will love you forever Trayvon!!! In the name of Jesus!!!”
Barack Obama issued the following statement on Sunday in reaction to the verdict:
The death of Trayvon Martin was a tragedy. Not just for his family, or for any one community, but 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. But we are a nation of laws, and a jury has spoken. 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. We should ask ourselves, as individuals and as a society, how we can prevent future tragedies like this. As citizens, that’s a job for all of us. That’s the way to honor Trayvon Martin.
The New Black Panthers said that Zimmerman's acquittal means “war.”
Al Sharpton called the verdict “a slap in the face to those that believe in justice in this country,” and he also went on to call it an “atrocity.” He is now calling for a “Justice for Trayvon National Day of Action” this Saturday.
Here are some more outrageous examples of media reaction:
Trust me, there are plenty more where that came from. Zimmerman's attorney Mark O'Mara even blasted the media, stating that “things would have been different for George Zimmerman if he was black for this reason: he would never have been charged with a crime.”
Then we have celebrity reaction like NY Giants star Victor Cruz who Tweeted: “Thoroughly confused. Zimmerman doesn’t last a year before the hood catches up to him.” The Tweet has since been deleted and he has apologized. Falcon's player Roddy White found himself in similar hot water when he Tweeted: “All them jurors should go home tonight and kill themselves for letting a grown man get away with killing a kid.” White has since apologized.
Then that leads to the people's reaction. Before the verdict, there was much controversy over police preparing for protests or even riots. Protestors did, indeed, take to the streets all throughout the nation. For the most part, they were peaceful but there were exceptions. In New York City, protestors managed to shut down Times Square. One protestor in New York is quoted as saying, “It’s a travesty of justice. I’m really terrified of the message it has sent to the country and the world … The message that black people’s lives have no value in America.” Six people were arrested in Los Angeles for blocking a freeway in protest, and at least one person threw rocks and batteries at a police officer. Protests turned to vandalism in Oakland, where they started small fires, smashed windows and spray painted a police car.