Zimmerman Verdict: African American Reaction
GAINESVILLE - Not guilty but some are saying not over. The jury of six women who found george Zimmerman not guilty deliberated for more than 16 hours in the span of two days. And while Zimmerman was acquitted. His legal troubles may be far from over.
A verdict that has shocked most of the African American community around the country. Gainesville City Commissioner Yvonne Hinson-Rawls says Zimmerman should of at least been convicted of manslaughter. "It's a sad day in america when an American youth cannot walk down any neighborhood that he chooses without being stalked, pursued, confronted and gunned down," Hinson-Rawls said.
Hinson-Rawls said this case not only brought up the issue of race but guns too. "All mothers of black males are a little afraid. I saw that my son put on facebook and I had to calm him down... Alright all black males in america strap up. You know what that means? That's frightening," she added.
With a verdict on hand people may think this case is over. But it may just be the beginning of another chapter as the naacp is now pushing for a civil rights law suit. The NAACP has formally sent a petition to the United States Attorney General to file charges against Zimmerman for civil rights violations. I talked to the president of the Alachua County NAACP chapter who is currently in Orlando due to their National Convention and she says they are not giving up. "It will be effective. 104 years we have been fighting the same struggle. We have won a lot of battles and we don't plan to go back at all, so I think it's going to be effective," Foxx said.
Gigi Simmons the president of porters community, has pioneered the neighborhoods very own Citizen Patrol Program. While she's familiar with the trial she says she wont dwell on the past and the African American community needs to move on and learn from this verdict. "Now is the time for us to organize, now is the time for us to go to our communities uplift our black males, uplift our children, and educate our children. Now is the time for us to become more involved, take pride in who we are and move forward," Simmons said.
It is not known yet whether the Federal Department of Justice will investigate or pursue charges. I did have a conversation with one African American man who thought Zimmerman was rightfully acquitted. While he wouldn't go on camera he's says he went through a number of emotions through the trial but ultimately believes zimmerman had the right to defend himself.
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