Protesters convened in city squares on Sunday, marching into the streets, for the second night following the "not guilty" verdict in the George Zimmerman trial.
Zimmerman, who shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in what the jury decided was self defense under Florida law, apparently wants to go to law school to become a defender of the wrongfully accused. And while Zimmerman and his defense team may frame his (possibly ongoing) legal battle after the death of an unarmed teenager at his hands as an unwarranted witch hunt, the case has a deeper meaning for many of its watchers. In the images and sound bytes emerging from the protests, that deeper resonance couldn't be clearer.
President Obama's statement following the verdict focused on the tragedy of Trayvon Martin's death, and asked American citizens to "ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence...we should ask ourselves, as individuals and as a society, how we can prevent future tragedies like this." While Obama, this time, declined to directly address the role of race in the story, many others noted the quotidian reality of American life as a minority illuminated by the conversations surrounding the trial. Zimmerman's brother (and Rick Perry!) might think that the case against his brother — and the reason he will not face punishment for killing another human being — has nothing to do with race. Here are, in pictures, some of the people who disagree:
At Sanford courthouse, where there's supposed to be a Justice For Trayvon rally happening. But deputies are blocking court grounds/parking— jessica testa (@jtes) July 14, 2013
Hard not to have your heart broken by an image like this: pic.twitter.com/2JbYgkTMnl— Danny Gold (@DGisSERIOUS) July 15, 2013
Youth led Justice for Trayvon Martin in Miami pic.twitter.com/S8SXiD3zfJ— Jason Walker (@JasonWalker_) July 14, 2013
And Oakland, where last night some protesters committed acts of vandalism in response to the verdict:
So far, reports are that the protests across the country are, for the most part, peaceful ones.
Update 10:45 p.m.: Later Sunday evening, a planned march in Los Angeles turned tense as a splinter group of protesters walked onto the 10 freeway.