George Zimmerman Found Not Guilty: Twitter Responds
On Saturday evening, a year-and-a-half after Trayvon Martin died, a six-person jury acquitted George Zimmerman of the second-degree murder of the 17-year-old. The jury also found him not guilty of manslaughter, a lesser charge, which Judge Debra Nelson had given them permission to consider. You can watch Zimmerman's live reaction to the decision here.
Trial activists have been standing by to protest in the event of this exact decision. Though a PSA was launched to urge Americans to "raise your voice, not your hands," Florida police have been prepared for mass protests to echo those that occurred in the fraught weeks after Martin's death. And before the post-trial press conference had even begun, Twitter was abuzz with responses to the verdict. In the United States, nearly all of Twitter's trending topics related to the decision: #NoJusticeForTrayvon, #IfIEverSeeZimmerman, #Zimmermanverdict, and all the names of the defense and prosecution attorneys.
Defense attorney Don West has defended the verdict, saying that the country was "swept away" by a narrative that wasn't true. The Martin family's attorneys have compared the verdict to the 50-year-old Emmett Till case, in which a young black boy was gruesomely tortured and killed for allegedly flirting with white women.