Protestors rally and march in downtown Tampa - WFLA News Channel 8

Protestors rally and march in downtown Tampa

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A massive group of protestors marched through the streets of downtown Tampa, crying out for justice.

Many feel the 'not guilty' verdict is an example of racial oppression in America.

America watched intently over a trial that lasted nearly three weeks, and it all led up to this- on Saturday night a jury found George Zimmerman not guilty.

He was allowed to leave. It was done. He was found not guilty in the shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman barely showed a reaction as he learned the news.

But there was certainly a reaction outside the courtroom.

Protestors were screaming and crying late Saturday night.

The opposing legal teams accepted the decision.

Zimmerman's attorney Mark O'Mara said, "George Zimmerman was never guilty of anything except protecting himself in self-defense."

Prosecutor Bernie De La Rionda said, "I am disappointed as we are with the verdict but we accept it. We live in a great country that has a great criminal justice system."

Many locals do not agree. Scores of protestors gathered in front of the federal courthouse in Tampa screaming, "WE WANT JUSTICE!"

Some of the protesters spent their Saturday in Sanford, and they say they're ashamed of the judicial system.

Marisol Marquez with the Coalition for Justice for Trayvon Martin said, "We saw that in America today, we can have people like George Zimmerman blatantly commit racist crimes and he can get away with murder and walk away without any kind of punishment. We think that is a flawed system."

One of the protestors said this whole situation is symbolic of the lack of respect for African American life.

Activist Life Malcolm said, "When somebody who's not an African person kills an African person, they come to some institution of justice as it is called and get off scot-free over the slap of a wrist, and so we see that all the time."

Demonstrators feel the trial was about much more than a neighborhood watch volunteer and an unarmed teenager. 

These activists see it as a tragic narrative on racial equality under the law, and they feel changes need to be made.

The demonstrations could continue into the week.

The new Black Panther party is holding a rally Monday morning at 9 a.m. in front of the George Edgecomb courthouse on Twiggs street.


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