Via ABC reports:
The NAACP was “outraged” over the not-guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman murder trial and called on the Department of Justice to prosecute Zimmerman for shooting Trayvon Martin.
“We are outraged and heartbroken over today’s verdict,” NAACP President Benjamin Jealous said in a statement.
“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,” Jealous said.
A civil rights probe had previously been opened by the Department of Justice and a spokeswoman said the department would continue to “evaluate the evidence generated during the federal investigation, as well as the evidence and testimony from the state trial.”
Zimmerman shot and killed Martin in Sanford on Feb. 26, 2012. Zimmerman, 29, maintains he shot Martin, 17, in self-defense, while the state argued that Zimmerman “profiled” Martin and concluded he was a criminal.
The case took on racial overtones after police declined to charge Zimmerman, who is white and Hispanic. Martin was black.
A woman named Barbara told ABC News she had traveled from Georgia to be outside the courthouse for the verdict.
“I just thought we were going to get some kind of justice,” she said, calling it a “cruel system.”
Rev. Jesse Jackson tweeted that the “American legal system has once again failed justice,” but urged his followers to “avoid violence.”
“We are saddened and disappointed by this decision. It is a pattern involving young black men that is too often repeating itself,” Jackson wrote.
“Avoid violence, it will lead to more tragedies,” he wrote. “Find a way for self construction not deconstruction in this time of despair.”
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