Local reaction flows in responding to Zimmerman verdict

6:43 PM, Jul 14, 2013   |    comments
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Video: Atlanta public reacts to Zimmerman verdict

Video: Zimmerman verdict reaction from The Varsity

Video: Emotions run high after not guilty verdict

Video: Zimmerman verdict reaction in studio with attorneys

Video: More reactions from Zimmerman verdict with NBC's Jay Gray

  • Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed
  • George Zimmerman leaves the courtroom a free man after being found not guilty, on the 25th day of his trial at the Seminole County Criminal Justice Center July 13, 2013 in Sanford, Florida. Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder in the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin. (Photo by Joe Burbank-Pool/Getty Images)

ATLANTA -- Sunday morning, local reaction continued to come out from public officials and others in response to the George Zimmerman not guilty verdict.

RELATED | Zimmerman found not guilty on all counts
MORE | Falcons WR tells jurors to 'kill themselves'

PHOTOS | Reaction to George Zimmerman verdict

Immediately after the verdict was read in court Saturday night, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed released a statement regarding the verdict. 

"The genuine tragedy of the Trayvon Martin case is that a mother and father lost their son senselessly. I find it troubling that a 17-year-old cannot walk to a corner store for candy without putting his life in danger. I find it more troubling that a citizen could not see a young African-American youth without immediately concluding that he was up to no good."

"While I disagree with the jury's verdict, we must respect it. This case reminds me why my number one priority as Mayor is public safety. I work every day to create a safer city where our sworn police officers are trained and equipped to effectively uphold the law, so that our residents feel secure in their neighborhoods and our diverse communities respect each other. The death of Trayvon Martin shows that we must all work harder to shed the dangerous stereotypes that can have devastating consequences for individuals, families and our society."

Overnight, additional responses began coming out from all quarters.

FULL COVERAGE | George Zimmerman trial and verdict

Fulton County Chairman John Eaves said the verdict has made him redouble his efforts to bring reform to the judicial system.

I heard the verdict and my heart is sick. While in the days and I suspect, years to come, many will dispute the rightness or wrongness of the jury's decision, what is indisputable is that Trayvon Martin lost his life and will never have the opportunity to fully become a productive member of society. I am now more committed than ever to bring reform to the criminal justice system. Too many Black men are caught up in the criminal justice system. We must look at new bold solutions to ensure that more Black men live productive lives.

Michael Langford, president of the United Youth Adult Conference said the verdict shows the justice system does not work for black Americans.

Tonight's Verdict in the Case of Trayvon Martin was very disappointing to say in the least. And further proves that America's Justice System does not work for Black Americans. While it is further proof that even though we all know Justice is Blind, it has become quite apparent that Justice is also Deaf & Dumb as it relates to the concerns of Black America!

Sunshine Lewis, executive director of Sunshine's Angel of Mercy Children's Foundation, compared the not guilty verdict to the sentence and jail time served by NFL quarterback Michael Vick, after his conviction on dog abuse in 2007.

I am saddened at the fact that out of a 6-Woman Jury, that were mostly Mothers, they found no place in their heart to render Justice to another Mother of a unarmed child, carrying a bag of Skittles and an Iced Tea who was taken down by a Want A Be Cop. This is certainly an Unjust Verdict! A flawed Justice System has failed us again!

Michael Vick was sentenced & served time for killing a dog, but George Zimmerman walks and he killed a child in cold blood!

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White sent a tweet shortly after the verdict, expressing his anger at the jurors:

@roddywhiteTV: "All them jurors should go home tonight and kill themselves for letting a grown man get away with killing a kid"

Hundreds of tweets in response to White's angry tweet took him to task for suggesting that the jurors should kill themselves for doing their civic duty.

Dr. Kenneth Samuel, senior pastor of Victory for the World Church in Stone Mountain called for a "fix" to the racial issue in this nation. Samuel promised additional comments from the pulpit during his Sunday morning services.

"I don't think one person on the jury which acquitted George Zimmerman understands the racial profiling that criminalizes black men in America on a daily basis. We will never become a post racial society until we face and fix the race issue. Our hearts are heavy for Trayvon Martin's family and for every black man whose life is jeopardized by prejudicial judgments."

Other members of the clergy, both locally and nationally were expected to make comments on the verdict Sunday.

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