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More protests planned over black US teen Trayvon Martin`s death

Last Updated: Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - 08:58

Sanford (US): Anger over the acquittal of a US neighbourhood watch volunteer who shot dead an unarmed black teenager continued on Monday, with civil rights leaders saying mostly peaceful protests will continue this weekend with vigils in dozens of cities.

The Justice Department said it is looking into Trayvon Martin`s death to determine whether federal prosecutors will file criminal civil rights charges against George Zimmerman, who is now a free man.

President Barack Obama and numerous celebrities have expressed sorrow at the verdict in a murder case that raised racial tensions. Hundreds gathered in New York`s Times Square and in Los Angeles yesterday, some chanting "Justice for Trayvon Martin!"

More than 100 Los Angeles police officers in riot gear converged on a crowd early Monday, and police said they made seven arrests throughout the day, The Los Angeles Times reported.

The civil rights leader Rev Al Sharpton said that his organisation will hold vigils and rallies in 100 cities Saturday in front of federal buildings.

A jury late Saturday found the 29-year-old Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder. Zimmerman has said he shot the 17-year-old in self-defense in a night time confrontation in his Florida gated community, where Martin was visiting family.

The February 2012 shooting first drew national attention when Zimmerman wasn`t arrested for weeks, and the case has continued to raise questions over race and self-defense gun laws.

Jurors were told that Zimmerman was allowed to use deadly force when he shot the teen not only if he actually faced death or bodily harm, but also if he merely thought he did. With many critics angry over Zimmerman`s acquittal, his freedom may be limited. He may also face civil lawsuits from Martin`s family.

"He`s going to be looking over his shoulder the rest of his life," his brother, Robert Zimmerman Jr told CNN.

Obama called Martin`s death a tragedy for America. It was a rare statement from the president on a case that doesn`t directly involve the federal government.


First Published: Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - 08:58

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