Zimmerman Trial

Calm largely prevailed after a jury acquitted George Zimmerman Saturday night in the killing of Trayvon Martin. Law enforcement and community leaders had prepared for potential unrest, and riots had been feared for months. Slate's Dave Weigel sums up the fears:

A few weeks ago, Levar Burton, the actor best-known for his role as Geordi LaForge in Star Trek and the host of the long-running kids' show Reading Rainbow, appeared on a CNN roundtable and offered up a sobering how-to on driving while black:

Months of intense media coverage, weeks of courtroom testimony and hours of jury deliberations boiled down to a not-guilty verdict for George Zimmerman, delivered by a jury of six women late Saturday.

The decision came 17 months after Zimmerman, a self-styled volunteer watchman, fatally shot unarmed black teen Trayvon Martin during a confrontation in a Sanford, Fla., community.

A little more than a day after a jury handed down a not-guilty verdict for George Zimmerman, thousands of people gathered in cities across the country to express their anger and dismay.

We're covering reactions to the Seminole County jury's decision to acquit George Zimmerman.  

Tell us what you think by calling (305) 330-WLRN (9576) or tweet us @WLRN. We'll also be updating this page.  

The acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin is reverberating far beyond Florida. On Sunday, President Obama acknowledged the strong passions the verdict has incited. He asked Americans "to respect the call for calm reflection from two parents who lost their young son."

Many people are trying to make sense of a case that sparked a national conversation on race and gun laws.

Civil rights groups reacted with disappointment to the not-guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman murder trial.

After the outcome became known late Saturday, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund said it would push for the Department of Justice to bring civil rights charges against Zimmerman, who was accused in the fatal shooting of 17-year-old black youth Trayvon Martin.

George Zimmerman's brother, Robert Zimmerman, Jr., tells NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday that despite the acquittal in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, it will be a "long time" before his brother's life returns to normal.

"Believe me, he is overwhelmed," the elder brother said in an interview with host Rachel Martin. "And now it is time for him to readjust to that concept of being a free man, in every sense of the word."

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

As we've been reporting this morning, George Zimmerman has been acquitted of manslaughter and second-degree murder after a Florida jury found him not guilty late last night. This morning, Pastor C.J. Haynes of the New Salem Primitive Baptist Church in Sanford is preparing to minister to his congregation, and he's kind enough to take some time to join us live amid his preparations.

Elder Haynes, good morning. Thanks so much for joining us.

PASTOR C.J. HAYNES: Good morning. And thank you for having me.

"I'm ashamed at how long it took me to realize why so many people in my family have been consumed with looking church-ready when they step out the door regardless of time or day."

That Facebook quote came from Phyllis Fletcher, an African-American colleague at KUOW in Seattle. And it reminded me of something my sister once told me when a white friend teased her about taking too long to get ready when they went on joint shopping expeditions. "Why are you getting all dressed up? Just throw on some jeans, like me, and let's go."

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