Crowds protest Zimmerman acquittal in Atlanta

Crowds protest Zimmerman acquittal in Atlanta

July 15th, 2013 by Associated Press in Local - Breaking News

A demonstrator wears a hoodie during a protest the day after George Zimmerman was found not guilty in the 2012 shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin, Sunday, July 14, 2013, in Atlanta.

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

Lisa Archer, 24, of Atlanta, center, chants as protestors march, Sunday, July 14, 2013, in Atlanta the day after George Zimmerman was found not guilty in the 2012 shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin. From New York to California, outrage over the acquittal in George Zimmerman's murder trial poured from street demonstrations and church pulpits.

Lisa Archer, 24, of Atlanta, center, chants as...

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

Demonstrators march in Union Square Sunday, July 14, 2013, in New York, during a protest against the acquittal of member George Zimmerman in the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Florida. Demonstrators upset with the verdict protested mostly peacefully in Florida, Milwaukee, Atlanta and other cities overnight and into Sunday.

Demonstrators march in Union Square Sunday, July 14,...

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

Zimmerman verdict protests across America

Demonstrations erupted across the United States - ranging from dozens to hundreds - in support of the family of Trayvon Martin. Protesters marched against the not guilty verdict in the trial of George Zimmerman for the shooting of the unarmed black teenager.

At New York City's Middle Collegiate Church in Manhattan, congregants wore hooded sweatshirts - as the 17-year-old Martin did the night he was shot.

And in Manhattan's Union Square, hundreds of people gathered to voice their passions over the verdict, hoisting placards with images of Martin.

Protesters also gathered in Chicago, Miami, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., along with several other cities.

Here are some images from the demonstrations:

ATLANTA - A group of demonstrators gathered in downtown Atlanta Sunday afternoon to protest neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman's acquittal in the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

The rally was one of several being planned in the Atlanta area, and it traveled from the Five Points MARTA station to the CNN Center. Demonstrations were planned around the country.

Protesters also took to the streets of downtown Atlanta in the early Sunday morning hours after a judge in Sanford, Fla. announced that 29-year-old Zimmerman had been cleared.

Zimmerman has claimed that Martin, who was unarmed, attacked him and the shooting was an act of self-defense.

"I came out today because a great deal of injustice has been done and I'm very disappointed at our justice system; I'm just disappointed in America," Tabatha Holley, 19, of Atlanta said as a crowd of about 75 protesters chanted and carried signs near Centennial Olympic Park.

"I think it's unfair, and I'm afraid for my future black sons. I'm very afraid for them - that I won't be able to raise them in a diverse community."

Some protesters wore hooded sweaters in the 80-degree heat - similar to what Martin was wearing when he was shot - and carried cans of iced tea and bags of Skittles, which Martin was carrying when he was killed.

Word of the rally spread quickly via social media sites on Sunday, with demonstrators using the Twitter hashtag "(hash)MarchForTrayvonATL" to tell others about the rally and to share photos.

Local and state politicians issued statements after the verdict was read expressing dismay with the jury's decision, and hope that it would start discussions on the intersection of race and justice.

"It seems to justify the stalking and killing of innocent black boys and deny them any avenue of self-defense," U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-GA, said of the verdict. "On the eve of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, I think it demonstrates the distance this nation still must go to fulfill the vision of equal justice Martin Luther King Jr. gave his life to defend."

In a statement, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said he didn't agree with the verdict but must respect it.

"I find it troubling that a 17-year-old cannot walk to a corner store for candy without putting his life in danger," he said. "I find it more troubling that a citizen could not see a young African-American youth without immediately concluding that he was up to no good."