Parishioners at a Manhattan church wore black hoodies, a prominent female evangelist said the community will “raise our voices” against racist conditions she says led to acquittal of George Zimmerman, and in Oakland, California, police fired bean bag rounds to quell protesters' acts of vandalism.
The defendant alleged he was acting in self defense, that the youth refused to identify himself or give a reason why he was walking the streets of a gated community at Sanford, Florida. He claimed he shot the youthful aggressor in self defense after he knocked him down and began to beat his head against the concrete.
The case touched off a loud, vituperative national debate about such issues as racial profiling and alleged racist attitudes of law enforcement officers. Many nationally recognized leaders of the black community raised their voices in protest, demanding a murder prosecution.
Reaction to the not guilty verdict by a jury of 6 women who acquitted the Hispanic Neighborhood Watch member of Second Degree Murder of a black teenager, Trayvon Martin, is widespread, largely negative in the black community.
Whites, however, are very positive, citing such issues as gun ownership, the Castle Doctrine and stand-your-ground laws that allow deadly force in defense of one's life or property, or both.