July 17th, 2013
09:43 AM ET

Zimmerman Verdict Spurs Protests & Action from White House

Emotions are running high across the country in the days since George Zimmerman was found not guilty in the death of Trayvon Martin.

Relatively peaceful protests happened overnight while some turned into violence.

“There was great concern about violence breaking out here and other cities across the country,” CNN's Miguel Marquez reports from Los Angeles. “Police have drawn a line in the sand here, and it seems to be holding for now.”

Meanwhile,  Anderson Cooper's exclusive interview with Juror B37 sparked reaction from four of the other jurors.

They released a statement saying, “Serving on this jury has been highly emotional and physically draining experience for each of us. The death of a teenager weighed heavily on our hearts but in the end we did what the law required us to do.” (watch top video)

The discontent and frustration over the law leading to the “not guilty” verdict has reached Washington, DC.

Attorney General Eric Holder spoke out against the nation's "Stand Your Ground" laws cited in the Zimmerman trial, telling the NAACP “laws that senselessly expand the concept of self-defense and sow dangerous conflict in our neighborhoods.” Watch:

“The attorney general is pledging a full investigation, but he's being very careful not to promise what the results will be,” CNN's Dan Lothian reports from the White House.

While the Obama administration faces pressure to file hate crime charges, the politics of the verdict is much more complex.

CNN's Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger says there is not much the Justice Department could do because this is a state issue and not a federal issue, and it would be very difficult. Watch:

“There's a really high bar for the Justice Department to do this,” Borger says. “You would actually have to prove intent, that Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin because he was black…That was not a part of the case.”

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soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. sidestep

    I find it disheartening that this case is the kind of thing that motivates people to protest and riot for government change instead a lame duck Congress running our country in the ground and spying on us. No one took to the streets when the economy crashed. I'm sure having this case in the headlines is welcome news for our government. It takes attention away from them and their ineptitude regarding the economy. The street violence is unfortunate, but the economy is a bigger, longer lasting issue. Poverty and economic uncertainty help fuel senseless violence. Now all you rioters and protesters use your energy to demand economic improvement and also vote for the people who will actually do something.

    July 18, 2013 at 9:20 am | Reply
  2. snoway

    Nice signs. Well organized. Well executed. Who is funding these "protests"? And why?

    July 18, 2013 at 9:13 am | Reply
  3. Jerry

    Thank you Mr. President, Pimp Al, Pimp Jackson, Hillary, etc., etc., etc. You have given a reason for "some" morons in the Black community and some bleeding heart whites to riot, loot and attack innocent Américans. Américans of all colors!!!

    If Hold-her was "REALLY" doing his job he would have the Justice Department file charges against these hypocrites for inciting rioting and looting and hurting innocents.

    Even if the JD does not file charges, the affected businesses should consider filing lawsuits to try and recover some of the damages and business losses caused by these demagogues.

    Thank you, thank you!

    July 18, 2013 at 8:51 am | Reply
  4. Lord Kensington

    What do the brothers do when they don't like the outcome ? RIOT ! So what else is new ?

    July 18, 2013 at 8:46 am | Reply
  5. Jack Rivera

    HELLO, Stand Your Ground was not part of this case or trial. Also, everyone including the intern said they found no evidence that GZ was a racist. No racist, no civil rights violations, NOW DO YOU ALL GET IT??

    July 18, 2013 at 8:45 am | Reply
  6. DBC

    No matter what your opinion is about the outcome of this case, Zimmerman was acquitted and the case is over. That's how our system works and protesting changes nothing.

    July 18, 2013 at 8:12 am | Reply
  7. Mat

    Seriously, the man was tried in a court of law, by a jury of his peers, and was found NOT GUILTY. By the 6th Amendment, George Zimmerman has the right to a speedy trial by a jury of his peers, not a jury of public opinion. Demanding the WH or the DOJ to take action against him, when he's already been found not guilty is absolutely absurd. I may not agree with the verdict myself, but the jury has spoken. Let the man be.

    July 18, 2013 at 6:56 am | Reply
    • Dana

      Agreed! Thank you!

      July 18, 2013 at 9:15 am | Reply
  8. Beanne

    Actually it has been the liberals who have for years and years pushed the agenda to protect the thug....and now it's biting them in the foot...so be it!...Not saying that Zimmerman is a thug...he was just an over zealous watchman.....Martin was a kid with skittles oh an Pot in his system...It was a case of mistaken Id on both sides...Zimmerman thinking this may be one of the thieves that has rampaged his neighborhood and Martin thinking this is a gay pervert wanting to rape me..they both stood their ground and it ended in the tragic death of Marin. This is the time we are living in . When no one trusts each other and everyone is paranoid. This is not a case of Race as those so called leaders in the media will try to drum up more fear, more distrust and more hatred and they are doing a pretty good job. Falling into the race trap and the fear mongering will NOY solve this problem. The ONLY thing that will solve this problem is true repentance of every person...we need to walk in the fruit of the holy spirit...Faith Love and Peace. More violence-protests-anger-negative words from our President-form Holder-from Sharpton-from Jackson need to stop.
    If you don't like the laws that the liberals put in place...than change them. The prosecution is to blame for not charging Zimmerman with the correct charge such as negligent homicide. They to were over zealous and wanting to prove a point...they did not and now folks are angry. ..I say to you who are angry...turn your anger into good not hate-not violence. a soft answer turns away wrath.

    July 18, 2013 at 6:29 am | Reply
  9. Nate

    What a bunch of media BS. Just watch the responses to this and any other article comments on the web, the comments are all running about 10 to 1 saying that it was a fair trial and color had nothing to do with it. This is totally ridiculous and the real people need to speak up.

    July 18, 2013 at 6:28 am | Reply
  10. DPkirpy

    Too bad stupid is not prosecutable. Stop pandering to the verdict deniers. Show is over, move on. Comments i've read on every news story since the trial has shown in very clear light just how stupid black America has become. Reminds me of painting oneself into a corner. Brilliant.

    July 18, 2013 at 6:10 am | Reply

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