Zimmerman acquittal angers, frustrates some Phoenix residents


by Jason Volentine

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Posted on July 15, 2013 at 6:27 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 16 at 4:13 PM

PHOENIX -- More than 100 people gathered in downtown Phoenix Sunday to protest the not-guilty verdict in the murder case against George Zimmerman.

After 15 hours of deliberation, a Florida jury on Saturday acquitted Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin.  Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain, claimed self-defense after shooting the unarmed teen in Sanford, Fla., last year.

The fatal confrontation has since brought forth a sometimes heated discussion about race relations.  Many felt Martin was targeted because of the color of his skin and the hooded sweatshirt he was wearing at the time he was killed.

“To say he's not guilty is just a slap in the face,” said Zakeeyah Habeel, who wore a hoodie similar to Martin's outside the Sandra Day O’Connor Federal Courthouse in Phoenix despite 110-degree heat.  “And honestly I had to ask myself, 'How am I supposed to have children in this world if I can't protect them?'"

There's nothing that can be done about the not-guilty murder verdict. 

But now, protesters are calling on the feds at the Department of Justice to charge Zimmerman for violating Martin’s civil rights by targeting him because of his race.

“I do feel that once again we have had our hearts broken.  We can't get justice and I think it has to do with the color of our skin,” said Bishop Jeff Metcalf of the Phoenix chapter of the National Action Network

On Sunday afternoon, the DOJ announced it would review Zimmerman's shooting of Martin to decide if criminal charges should be filed for civil-rights violations.