NEW YORK (CBS/AP) — From New York to California, demonstrators are rallying against a Florida verdict acquitting George Zimmerman in the death of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe reports
Protests are planned in cities including Boston, New York City, Chicago and San Francisco on Sunday, a day after a jury found the former neighborhood watch volunteer not guilty. The case unleashed debate across the U.S. over racial profiling, self-defense and equal justice.
Civil rights leaders, including the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, have urged peace. Jackson says the legal system “failed justice,” but violence isn’t the answer.
President Barack Obama called on Americans to honor the jury’s verdict and promote compassion in their communities.
“I know this case has elicited strong passions,” Obama said in a prepared statement. “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.”
After the verdict, some angry protesters in Oakland, Calif., broke windows, burned flags and started small street fires. In Florida, about 200 demonstrators marched in Tallahassee carrying signs that said “Racism is Not Dead” and “Who’s Next?”