Protests erupt after verdict
Updated: 2013-07-15 01:44
US citizens angry at the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the death of teen Trayvon Martin marched in US cities throughout Saturday night, with reports of sporadic acts of violence.
Spontaneous marches of varying sizes took place in cities including San Francisco, Chicago, Washington, Atlanta and Philadelphia.
Supporters of Treyvon Martin wait in front of the Seminole County Criminal Justice Center for the verdict to be announced in the George Zimmerman murder trial on Saturday in Sanford, Florida. Photo by Scott Olson / AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
On Saturday, a jury in Sanford, Florida, found Zimmerman not guilty in the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Martin, who was unarmed, on the night of Feb 26, 2012.
The trial has riveted the nation for weeks, and emotions came to a boiling point as news of the verdict spread.
Prominent rights activists like Jesse Jackson appealed for calm.
"Avoid violence, it will lead to more tragedies. Find a way for self-construction not deconstruction in this time of despair," he wrote on Twitter.
Martin's parents have long called for nonviolent demonstrations, quoting civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr and the Bible.
Several hundred demonstrators marched peacefully amid a heavy police presence in downtown San Francisco soon after the verdict.
Hours later, angry protesters marching through Oakland spray-painted cars and smashed windows.