Marches, Rallies Continue After Zimmerman Acquittal

Demonstrations continued nationwide Monday following George Zimmerman's acquittal on murder charges for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

Locally, the National Black Church Initiative rallied outside the U.S. Department of Justice Monday.

“The church wants to make it very clear that we will not tolerate any violence at the end of this trial from any community – justified our not. Our purpose is to lead people to God through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is not to seek revenge. This is why we urge everyone to pray for justice in this case and to pray for the soul of our nation – a place where this young black boy was found guilty of being a young black boy in America...,” said Rev. Anthony Evans, president of the National Black Church Initiative. 

The Justice Department said it is looking into the case to determine whether federal prosecutors should file criminal civil rights charges now that Zimmerman has been acquitted in the state case. The department opened an investigation into Martin's death last year but stepped aside to allow the state prosecution to proceed.

The evidence generated during the federal probe is still being evaluated by the criminal section of the Justice Department's civil rights division, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's office for the Middle District of Florida, along with evidence and testimony from the state trial, the Justice Department said.

Though the most vocal showings since the verdict was read have been in support of Martin, others have used social media to stand up for Zimmerman following his acquittal. Facebook pages proclaiming support for him have thousands of “likes.”
On the NBC Nightly News Facebook page, one supporter reacted to the verdict, writing, “The justice system works. Zimmerman should never have been arrested.”

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama and religious and civil rights leaders urged calm in hopes of ensuring peaceful demonstrations following a case that became an emotional flash point.

Crowds marched down a freeway in Los Angeles and clashed with police Sunday, while in New York, thousands of Martin supporters protested around the city, with the largest rally gathering in Times Square and with 10 people arrested. Rallies were also held in San Francisco — where hundreds marched with signs saying "the whole system is racist" and "the people say guilty" — as well as in Oakland and Chicago, among other cities. The nationwide protests were mostly peaceful, despite some clashes with police.

Several protests were also held in D.C. Demonstrators chanted, "Trayvon was murdered" as they walked up U Street from 9th in the Northwest. Other times, they chanted, "No justice, no peace."

The march gained supporters as it traveled through the streets of D.C. early Sunday, reported News4's Darcy Spencer. The protesters shut down some intersections, including 14th and U streets.
Police were nearby and watched the marchers but did not interfere. 
A prayer vigil was also held on the campus of Howard University.
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