‘The system has failed’: Hundreds demonstrators voice their disappointment and anger over not guilty verdict in George Zimmerman trail
- After George Zimmerman was acquitted of murder in the case of Trayvon Martin protesters outside of the Florida courthouse chanted their disappointment with the court’s verdict and justice system at large
- Hundreds of people took to social media to express their outrage over the verdict and many tweeted violent epithets against Zimmerman
- Moments after the verdict was announced hundreds on Twitter labeled Zimmerman a ‘dead man walking,’ and even made threats against his life
By Laurie Kamens DailyMail PUBLISHED: 14 July 2013
Crowds outside the courthouse were outspoken about their disappointment at the verdict and hundreds took to Twitter to voice their discontentment with the justice system and jury’s verdict.
Violent words were thrown around on the social media outlet, and many people have already declared Zimmerman a ‘dead man walking.’
Demonstrators outside the court started chanting ‘Justice for Trayvon,’ according to USA Today. Other shouted ‘The system has failed,’ in front of the courthouse where they were gathered en mass.
People held up banners reading ‘End racial oppression’ as they chanted and others just screamed ‘No’ in shock after the verdict, SkyNews reported.
- George Zimmerman found NOT GUILTY of the murder or manslaughter of Trayvon Martin
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- Florida braces for riots in wake of not guilty verdict as Miami police set up ‘First Amendment zones’ in the hope they could control possible rioters
- Outrage after two cable news networks – including MSNBC – show Trayvon Martin’s DEAD BODY on live TV during the final day of George Zimmerman murder trial coverage
The crowd outside the Florida courthouse quickly began to protest the verdict as a chant of ‘no justice, no peace,’ rose up according to The Orlando Sentinel.
The newspaper reported that soon after the crowd learned of the verdict the police quickly closed the entrances to the courthouse ground. Those remained inside were relatively calm.
Amongst the protesters at the courthouse were members of the New Black Panther Party who wore shirts reading, ‘Freedom or Death.’
The paper reported that the militants spoke of ‘injustice’ in the moments after the ruling.
‘No one, no one could have foreseen that he would walk away,’ said James Evans Muhammad, the party chairperson told the Sentinel.
A crowd of college students were amongst the louder voices present, chanting their dissent well after the verdict was announced, according to the newspaper.
Many on Twitter also expressed their unhappiness with the outcome of the trial.
Several Twitter users started to call Zimmerman a ‘dead man walking,’ conjecturing on his safety after his acquittal and threatening his life on the social media platform.
Threats of violence surfaced from users all over the social media site. A Twitter user with the name of Pop Sharp wrote, ‘If I could ill slap the shit out of #Zimmerman & tell him to shoot me so than ill take that same gun & empty the clip on his fat face ass …’
Angry reactors also used Twitter and Instagram to send out George Zimmerman’s address, urging angry reactors to attack him at home.
Other people used the hashtag ‘If I Ever See Zimmerman,’ after which they are filled in the blanks with angry messages about how they would physically inflict harm on Zimmerman if they could get their hands on him.
Celebrities also reacted to the verdict as music icons, sports figures, and other people of note took to social media to voice their opinion on the ruling.
Stevie Johnson, wide received for the Buffalo Bills compared the Zimmerman verdict to Michael Vicks dog fighting case.
Dwanye Wade, who plays basketball for the Miami Heat lamented the verdict Tweeting,’ How do I explain this to my young boys????’
Musicians also tweeted their frustration with the jury’s verdict. Celebrities including Rihanna, Ice Cube, and Nicki Minaj criticized the court’s verdict.
Rihanna tweeted, ‘This is the saddest news ever!!! #whatsjustice.’
Ice Cube wrote,’ The Trayvon Martin verdict doesn’t surprise me. Stanford, FL never wanted Zimmerman arrested. Now he’s free to kill another child.’
American Idol judge and pop star Nicki Minaj took a sardonic view on the outcome tweeting, ‘And our taxes paid for that trail. We just paid to see a murderer walk free after killing an innocent unarmed little boy. #GodBlessAmerica.’
Actors spoke out against the verdict as well, sending their prayers to the Martin family and expressing their disapproval of the court’s verdict.
HBO Girl’s star and writer Lena Dunham sent her condolences to the Martin family tweeting, ‘No. My heart is with Sybrina Fulton, Rachel Jeantel, everyone who loved Trayvon and has been sent the message that his life didn’t matter.’
Singer and actress Mandy Moore responded similarly writing, ‘My heart is heavy…for all who knew and loved #TrayvonMartin. His life mattered. This is shameful.’
Private Practice star Kate Walsh simply tweeted, ‘Zimmerman verdict sickens me.’
Others called for an end to the angry and violent social media reactions.
Media mogul and entrepreneur Russel Simmons tweeted his sympathies for the family and put out a call for peace.
‘I know many people are very upset about the verdict, but we must remain peaceful. No matter what, remain peaceful,’ he wrote.
Shortly after he tweeted again, ‘If u have ant anger this evening, put that energy into challenging these horrible laws …’
Twitter continues to erupt with angry messages as people across the country cry out for justice they feel was denied to the Martin family.
Trayvon Martin’s father also used Twitter as a public forum to speak after the verdict was handed down in his son’s trial.
Tracy Martin, father of Trayvon released several tweets shortly after the jury’s verdict was announced.
‘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,’ wrote Saturday night.
Then two minutes later Martin said, ‘Thanks to everyone who are with us and who will be with us si we together can make sure that this doesn’t happen.’
Several African American leaders spoke out against the verdict as well in the media.
Reverend Al Sharpton was amongst those who came out strongly against the court’s decision.
‘The acquittal of George Zimmerman is a slap in the face to the American people but it is only the first round in the pursuit of justice. We intend to ask the Department of Justice to move forward as they did in the Rodney King case and we will closely monitor the civil case against Mr. Zimmerman. I will convene an emergency call with preachers tonight to discuss next steps and I intend to head to Florida in the next few days,’ Sharpton said, CNN reported.
NAACP leaders also made statements condemning the Florida court’s verdict.
NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous said, ‘We are outraged and heartbroken over today’s verdict. We stand with Trayvon’s family and we are called to act. We will pursue civil rights charges with the Department of Justice, we will continue to fight for the removal of Stand Your Ground laws in every state, and we will not rest until racial profiling in all its forms is outlawed,’ CNN reported.
Local Florida NAACP President Adora Obi Nweze also made a public statement, the television station reported.
‘We lost a young man due to senseless violence, but justice did not prevail. Last year we pushed for the arrest of George Zimmerman and a thorough investigation and trial. Today, we are still called to act. No one should be allowed to use this law to commit a senseless crime again,’ Nweze said.
At a press conference after the trail Florida State Attorney Corey declined to comment on the verdict, but instead thanked the judge and jury for their participation in the trial.
‘We have done our best to ensure due process. .. to show that the American justice system can and good only be done in a court of law. I don’t think it helps anyone to be out espousing opinions about our cases,’ Corey told reporters.
However other Florida state officials were more emotional about the court’s verdict.
Speaking vehemently Bernie De La Rionda, Assistant State Attorney simply said, ‘I’m disappointed by this verdict but we accept it.’
The jury of six women took over 16 hours to deliver the verdict which was unanimous.
Zimmerman fatally shot Martin last year after the community watch dog spotted the teen wearing an over sized black hoodie waking his neighbor streets.
After calling in a report of a suspicious person police arrived on scene to find that Zimmerman had shot Martin and killed him in what he alleges was self-defense.