“We the jury find the defendant, George Zimmerman not guilty.” After over 16 hours of deliberation, that was the verdict that came from Sanford, Florida and crescendoed around the world. Zimmerman was found not guilty of killing unarmed teenager, Trayvon Martin as he walked home from a convenience store carrying only a bag of skittles and a can of tea. Many were shocked, more were angry, but most are disappointed.
Tracy Martin, Trayvon’s dad tweeted his reaction, “Even though I am broken hearted my faith is unshattered I WILL ALWAYS LOVE MY BABY TRAY. God blessed Me & Sybrina with Tray and even in his death I know my baby proud of the FIGHT we along with all of you put up for him GOD BLESS.”
Many celebrities also took to twitter to express their opinions. Singer Ciara penned, “Whenever someone has done wrong, they will have to face it. No matter what. God will handle it. For there is no power greater than his.”
Michael Moore posed this hypothetical situation after hearing the news. “Had a gun-toting Trayvon Martin stalked an unarmed George Zimmerman, and then shot him to death… DO I EVEN NEED TO COMPLETE THIS SENTENCE?”
This high profile case has sparked conversations about race relations and profiling, gun control and policies, and the infamous “Stand your ground” law. It seems that everyone has an opinion and tension is high. People have been participating in peaceful protests in response to the verdict, but not everyone is taking that route. MSN.com reported that violent outbreaks and vandalism occurred in Oakland, California.
Mogul Russell Simmons says that he expected that outcome and issued a challenge.“If u have anger this evening, put that energy into challenging these horrible laws that allow overly-anxious neighborhood watchmen to carry guns and shoot innocent people. Tonight, Trayvon, rest in perfection, know that in your memory, your family has already saved hundreds, perhaps thousands of lives and I am confident that they will save many, many more in the years to come. God bless you little brother.”
The Martin family has created a foundation in memory of their slain son. For more information or to donate, visit www.trayvonmartinfoundation.org. Although the GPS bracelet has been removed from Zimmerman’s ankle and he is free literally, do you think he will ever truly experience freedom?