A Florida jury on Saturday found George Zimmerman not guilty in the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin, in a case that sparked a national debate on race and guns.
The panel of six women, which was sequestered, deliberated more than 16 hours over two days until nearly 10 p.m. on Saturday (0200 GMT Sunday).
Zimmerman appeared stoned-faced as the verdict was announced, but then showed a slight smile of relief. His parents embraced each other and his wife was tearful.
Demonstrators exclaimed disbelief, one by one, as they learned on their phones Saturday night that George Zimmerman was found not guilty of murdering Trayvon Martin.
At 10:02 p.m. ET “Justice for Trayvon!” chants erupted from fist-waving people at the fountain across from the courthouse.
“The system has failed!” irate demonstrators started chanting.
The waiting game under way for the hundreds of protesters anticipating a verdict outside the Seminole County Criminal Justice Center was finally over.
Nina Mays of Tulsa, Okla., was outraged by the verdict.
“This is going to impact a lot of people in a lot of different places,” Mays said minutes after the announcement., standing a few yards from chanting protesters.
“How is the law different for one and not for the other? Trayvon was standing his ground when Zimmerman came and messed with him, a young man coming from the store,” she said.
That’s a good question. How can the law be different for different people? It always has been, I suppose. It still is.
Honestly fuck everyone who hates on Zimmerman for fucking saving himself from some thug. If some nigger tried to fuck wit me I'd pop him too
— Dawn 7am (@Dare7am) July 14, 2013
And race was nowhere to be found in this case, though it loiters conspicuously on Twitter.