Richmonders react to Zimmerman verdict - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Richmonders react to Zimmerman verdict

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

The George Zimmerman not guilty verdict has captured national and local attention.

Like much of the nation, Richmonders are split in their views of this case.

"I find it really surprising that they managed to acquit the guy," said one opponent. 

"They found him not guilty and that's the way it should end," said Beasley Hancock. 

"I would not say George Zimmerman is right at all," said Josh Flanders.  

This comes after the jury of six women found Zimmerman not guilty late Saturday night. 

"For him to just walk away and not be handed anything- it's almost a slap in the face that the boy lost his life," said Ryan Bell.  

Zimmerman always maintained he was acting in self defense, saying that Trayvon Martin had attacked him after Zimmerman called police on suspicion that Martin was a threat to the neighborhood.  

After 16 hours of deliberation, the jury decided there just wasn't enough proof Zimmerman shot and killed Martin out of ill will, spite, or hatred. 

"There are clearly still some issues and honestly if I was a black Floridian today - I'd be feeling pretty upset," said another opponent of the verdict.  

"It was an element in the prosecutions behavior not to mention race then there was the element of race in the defense strategy to introduce Trayvon as a menacing black male in which it would be reasonable to be afraid of him," said VCU Psychology Professor, Dr. Shawn Utsey.  He teaches Personality Behavior of African-Americans.  

"I saw in the trial it seems like he was defending himself," said Beasley Hancock. "That's what the jury seemed to believe also. I don't think the prosecution had enough evidence to prove otherwise."     

Despite the outrage on social media and protests across the nation, both sides request the public respect the court's ruling and keep the peace so that the families affected can move forward.

The Richmond chapter of the NAACP reached  says it supports the national chapter's effort to begin a petition to fight for martin's civil rights, saying it will continue to fight for the removal of Stand your Ground Laws in every state.  

To see the full statement, click on our All Access page.

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