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July 12, 2013

George Zimmerman
George  Zimmerman  was acquitted of second-degree
murder and  manslaughter charges in the shooting death
of an unarmed Trayvon Martin.

Trayvon Martin's Killer Is Acquitted

A dark night in the black community
by Frederick H. Lowe
A mostly white jury of six women on Saturday acquitted George Zimmerman of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges in the shooting death of an unarmed Trayvon Martin.

The jury deliberated 16 1/2  hours before returning the verdict in Sanford, Fla., that was cheered by Zimmerman's supporters and mourned by friends of the 17 year-old Martin.  He was shot to death in February 26, 2012, while returning home with snacks from a convenience store.

Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon's parents, were not in the courtroom when the verdict was read, but they tweeted: "Even though I am broken hearted my faith is unshattered. I WILL ALWAYS LOVE MY BABY TRAY."

The NAACP called for the U.S. Justice Department to file civil-rightscharges against Zimmerman, and the civil rights organization urged thepublic to sign a petition to support the effort. The response to the online petition has been overwhelming. Some 275,000 individuals have signed it. ColorOf Change, a black online political organization, and MoveOn.Org. also have petitions.

The Justice Department said on Sunday that it may open a civil-rights investigation into Zimmerman's murder of Trayvon Martin.

Zimmerman, 29, claimed he shot Martin in self defense. Armed with a pistol, Zimmerman got out of his truck and followed Martin, who was returning to his father's home, after buying snacks for himself and his younger brother at a convenience store, court records show.

The police dispatcher told Zimmerman not to follow Martin, but Zimmerman ignored this order, according to testimony. He described the teenager as one of those 'assholes' that get away, but said that “he wasn't going to get away this time,"  Zimmerman told police. 

President Barack Obama said the verdict calls for a strong need to prevent gun violence.
"We should ask ourselves if we're doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence that claims too many lives across the country on a daily basis," President Obama said.

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