July 14, 2013
NEW YORK (AP) - From New York to California, demonstrators are rallying against a Florida verdict acquitting George Zimmerman in the death of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin.
Protests are planned in cities including Boston, New York City, Chicago and San Francisco on Sunday, a day after a jury found the former neighborhood watch volunteer not guilty. The case unleashed debate across the U.S. over racial profiling, self-defense and equal justice.
Civil rights leaders, including the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, have urged peace. Jackson says the legal system "failed justice," but violence isn't the answer.
After the verdict, some angry protesters in Oakland, Calif., broke windows, burned flags and started small street fires. In Florida, about 200 demonstrators marched in Tallahassee carrying signs that said "Racism is Not Dead" and "Who's Next?"
President Barack Obama says the death of Trayvon Martin was a tragedy for America.
Obama says he knows the not-guilty verdict has elicited strong passions around the country. In a statement released Sunday, Obama is asking that all Americans respect the call for calm reflection. There have been a number of rallies and protests, most of which have been peaceful.
Obama says Americans should ask themselves if they're doing all they can to stem gun violence, and what can be done to prevent future tragedies like the Florida shooting.