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Trayvon Martin Shooting

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A six-woman jury in Sanford, Florida, found George Zimmerman not guilty in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

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(CNN) – Leaders at the nation’s oldest civil rights organization have spoken with senior members of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s team at the Justice Department about pursuing federal civil rights charges against George Zimmerman, NAACP president Ben Jealous said Sunday, though Holder himself has noted the high bar for establishing a hate crime.

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NAACP president Ben Jealous on “State of the Union” Sunday (Courtesy CNN)

Speaking to chief political correspondent Candy Crowley on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Jealous said he hadn’t yet spoken with Holder himself, but that in conversations with Justice Department officials, he had pressed the federal government to continue investigating the death of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin.

“We are glad what they began months back continues, which is a serious reviewing of everything that came out in this case, everything that was known before this case,” Jealous said.

Click here to read more on CNN.com.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KTLA) –  Protesters broke windows and started a series of fires on Saturday night in Oakland following the acquittal of George Zimmerman, police said.

Occupy Oakland organized the gathering over Twitter, and encouraged protesters to wear hoodies, as Trayvon Martin did when he was shot to death by Zimmerman.

Shortly after the verdict was read, the group tweeted: “#hoodiesup. OGP @ 10 pm tonight. Bring ur hoodie.”

At least 100 people showed up for the rally in downtown Oakland.  While it began peacefully, some people in the crowd started breaking windows, vandalizing cars, and spray painting buildings.

A female photographer from KTVU television suffered minor injuries and her camera was broken.

The Oakland Tribune also reported several windows at its downtown offices were broken, and one of the paper’s photographers describe the scene as being “tense.”

No arrests were made, according to local media reports.

Early Sunday morning Occupy Oakland posted several more tweets about the protest.

“What happened in #Oakland tonight was not just about #TrayvonMartin. It was also about #OscarGrant, #RaheimBrown, #AlanBlueford @OaklandElle.

“Calm down, twitter. A few broken windows in #Oakland is not a #riot, its a dance party. #RipTrayvonMartin #JusticeForTrayvon,” the group tweeted.

Occupy Oakland planned another rally on Sunday at 4 p.m.

A jury of six women returned the not guilty verdict Saturday evening after more than 16 hours of deliberations over two days.

Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder, but the jury had the option of finding him guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter.

LOS ANGELES (KTLA) – Criminal defense attorney Alison Triessl visited KTLA on Sunday morning to offer insight into the not guilty verdict in George Zimmerman’s murder trial.

Triessl, who created the website Wild About Trial, called the jury’s decision “predictable.”

“The prosecution started out really strong,” she said.

But Triessl felt the prosecution’s case began to unravel over time.

“Most of their witnesses, in fact, were helpful for the defense,” Triessl said.

She also predicted Trayvon Martin’s family would pursue civil action.

LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — After a Florida jury found George Zimmerman not guilty in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, demonstrators gathered Saturday evening for a peaceful but passionate rally in Leimert Park.

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The Rev. William D. Smart, Jr., spoke Saturday evening in Leimert Park.

“This was never a black and white issue; it was a right and wrong issue,” said Najee Ali, director of Project Islamic H.O.P.E., addressing the crowd of about 150 people.

“Being a friend of the Trayvon Martin family, I want to respect their wishes,” Ali added. “They asked that we pray for them and that we stay peaceful.”

After deliberating for more than 16 hours, the six-woman jury on Saturday acquitted Zimmerman of second-degree murder. Reactions on social media and at various public demonstrations were immediate and intense, although no incidents of violence were reported.

“As frustrated and as mad as I am right now, like you … I see this as a wake-up call,” the Rev. William D. Smart, Jr., of Christ Liberation Ministries, said. “We have to let everybody know that the value of black boys is important to us.”

Activist Simona Daniels said she respected the jury’s decision but came to Leimert Park to show her support for her community and Martin’s family.

“Racial profiling happens every single day, and unfortunately it happens a lot to African Americans,” she said. “Whether we’re in the store or whether we’re trying to get a job, we are racially profiled every day.”

Ali said he and other community activists intended to advocate for the repeal of “stand your ground” laws in at least 24 states.

LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — Immediately after the verdict was read Saturday announcing that George Zimmerman was not guilty in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, trial watchers took to social media to express their reaction.

On KTLA’s Facebook page, a comment that said “He killed, pure & simple. He should of got some jail term” received 53 “likes.”

“Justice prevailed,” read another comment.

Tweets by Martin’s father, Tracy Martin, were retweeted thousands of times:

 

Locally, activists tweeted about a crowd that was gathering at Leimert Park in South Los Angeles to protest the verdict.

Najee Ali, director of Project Islamic H.O.P.E., exhorted people to join him at the park:

 

Civil rights activist Jasmyne Cannick was among those who were there:

 

Here are more reactions to the Zimmerman verdict:

SANFORD, Fla. — George Zimmerman never denied shooting Trayvon Martin, saying he did so in self defense. Late Saturday night, a Florida jury found him not guilty in the teenager’s death.

The verdict caps a case that has inflamed passions for well over a year, much of it focused on race and gun rights.

The six jurors — all of them women — deliberated for 16½ hours total, including 13 on Saturday alone, before delivering their verdict. Five of the women are white, one is a minority.

None of them wanted to speak to the media after the verdict, court spokeswoman Michelle Kennedy tweeted.

Click here to read the full story on CNN.com.

SANFORD, Fla. — Crowds gathered outside a Florida courthouse on Saturday as jurors in the murder trial of George Zimmerman continued their deliberations.

Supporters on both sides of the case held signs while they waited for jurors to reach a verdict.

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A photographer takes pictures of the protesters (Saturday, July 13)

At one point, those on different sides of the issue clashed, according to local media reports.

Although there were no reports of violence.

Supporters of Trayvon, the teenager Zimmerman shot to death, held signs saying “Justice for Trayvon.”

Some also carried skittles and Arizona drinks, the items the teenager was carrying at the time of his death.

A smaller group stood in support of Zimmerman. Among them were Ed Wilson, 57, and Chris Fiorenza, 28, of Sanford.

“We are trying to stop racism, but people just keep wanting to bring it up,” Fiorenza told the Orlando Sun Sentinel.

Meanwhile, an employee WITH the Florida State Attorney’s Office who testified that prosecutors withheld evidence from George Zimmerman’s defense team was fired, according to CNN.

Ben Kruidbos had been on paid administrative leave since May 28 from his job as director of information technology for the State Attorney’s Office.

A spokeswoman for Fourth Judicial Circuit State Attorney Angela Corey said Kruidbos was no longer an employee of the office.

Zimmerman, 29, a neighborhood watch volunteer was charged with murdering Trayvon Martin, an unarmed teenager.

The prosecution argued that he profiled and deliberately shot Martin, who was returning from a convenience store after buying Skittles and a soft drink.

But Zimmerman maintained that he shot Martin in self-defense and alleged that the teenager attacked him.

SANFORD, Fla. — After 14 days of witness testimony and arguments on both sides, the fate of George Zimmerman now rests with six women.

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George Zimmerman sits in court on Friday, July 12.

Jurors began their deliberations around 2:30 p.m. Friday, after Judge Debra Nelson read a lengthy list of instructions.

They have three options: convict Zimmerman of second-degree murder in Martin’s death, convict him of manslaughter or find him not guilty.

“All of us are depending on you to make a wise and legal decision,” Nelson told the jurors.

Jurors ended deliberations Friday night without reaching a verdict.

They’ll be back at it Saturday, starting at 9 a.m.

Click here to read the full story at CNN.com.

SANFORD, Fla. — Jurors in the George Zimmerman second-degree murder trial will be allowed to consider at least one lesser charge — manslaughter — when they get the case after closing arguments, Judge Debra Nelson ruled Thursday.

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George Zimmerman in court on Tuesday, July 9.

But she put off a decision whether they could consider a charge of third-degree murder after attorney Don West offered fierce objection to the charge, which prosecutors said is based on the idea that Zimmerman committed child abuse in killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

“Oh my God,” he told Nelson. “Just when I thought this case couldn’t get any more bizarre, the state is seeking third-degree murder based on child abuse.”

Prosecutors are seeking the additional charges to give jurors more options should they find Zimmerman didn’t commit second-degree murder when he killed Martin on February 26, 2012.

Click here to read the full story on CNN.com.

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