After The Zimmerman Verdict

Jul 15, 2013

Since a Florida jury cleared neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, who faced murder charges in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, on Saturday, demonstrations on both sides have sprung up across the country.

Demonstrations large and small have been held in places like Burlington, Albany and Poughkeepsie after a Florida jury on Saturday night cleared Zimmerman of all criminal charges in the February 2012 shooting of Trayvon Martin.

Dutchess County legislator Joel Tyner drafted a letter to send to fellow lawmakers. Now, the U.S. Justice Department is trying to determine whether federal prosecutors should file criminal civil rights charges.

Early Monday morning, there was a "Silent stand for justice" - activists assembled on the eastern steps of the New York State Capitol Building in Albany... where they stood motionless for four full minutes, the time it took Martin to die after being shot.

Alice Green, executive director at the Center For Law and Justice in Albany, agrees that racial profiling is an issue of great concern affecting young people. She says we as a community and a society should strive to strike down the old stereotypes.

While the Zimmerman verdict is renewing a focus on Florida’s 'stand your ground' laws .

Neil Roberts, assistant professor of Africana studies at Williams College, believes the Zimmerman decision will have longstanding impact across lines of class and color. The NAACP is taking steps toward lodging federal civil rights charges against Zimmerman. Legal observers believe Martin's family could initiate a wrongful death lawsuit against Zimmerman in civil court.