Protesters react after George Zimmerman verdict
Updated On: Jul 13 2013 10:22:39 PM EDT
The number of people demonstrating outside of the Seminole County Courthouse on Saturday swelled to its largest number since the George Zimmerman trial started.
Chanting "justice for Trayvon" and "guilty," more than 100 people turned out to voice their support for the prosecution. That number increased as the verdict was read, with the jurors finding Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder or manslaughter.
The group "Justice 4 Trayvon" bussed in young people from Orlando, Tampa, Tallahassee and Miami to Sanford for the protest, and several other groups and individuals joined them.
"Justice should be available for all and to all in the same proportionate amount," said Flora Moore-Reece, who described herself as a pro-children demonstrator. She said she was out in front of the Orange County Courthouse two years ago when Casey Anthony's verdict was read, as well.
Demonstrators chanting in favor of the prosecution were separated by a metal barricade from the demonstrators who held signs up supporting Zimmerman's defense.
Before the verdict was read, Patrick Woodburn, who brought two of his friends with him to the Seminole County Courthouse to show their support for Zimmerman, said, "He's got no support. I go for what's right and what's wrong."
The pro-Zimmerman camp also held signs saying things like, "We love you George" and, "George got hit you must acquit."
The two sides respected their differing opinions for the most part, offering each other cold water in the sweltering heat of the day. At times, though, they would share heated verbal exchanges, subdued by other members of both sides of the demonstration.
Meanwhile, the Revs. Al Sharpton and Jess Jackson are urged peace after the verdict, saying any violence would mar Trayvon Martin's name.
Jackson says people should "avoid violence because it only leads to more tragedies."
Zimmerman, 29, claims he shot Martin in self-defense last year. But prosecutors said the former watch captain took the law into his own hands when he saw someone he deemed suspicious in his neighborhood.
Martin was black and Zimmerman identifies himself as Hispanic; some activists argued that the initial delay in charging Zimmerman was influenced by Martin's race.
Sharpton organized the first rally calling for prosecution. He said that he and Martin's family remained peaceful throughout the case.
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