George Zimmerman was found not guilty in the murder of Trayvon Martin late last night, July 13, sparking outcry and outrage as well as bringing a controversial end to a case that the nation has been following since February 2012. Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter in the killing of the 17-year old but only after national attention was drawn to the incident. Zimmerman was not initially charged with a crime because police cited Florida’s “stand-your-ground” law, which allows individuals who believe they are in imminent danger to take whatever steps are necessary to protect themselves. Florida State Attorney Angela Corey charged Zimmerman with murder on April 11, 2012.
After over 16 hours of deliberations, the six-woman jury reached it’s verdict. USAToday reports that the jurors “decided Zimmerman didn’t ‘intentionally commit an act or acts that caused death’ or demonstrate a ‘depraved mind without regard for human life’—Florida’s definitions of manslaughter and second degree murder, respectively.”
The reaction was swift, with many in the hip-hop community voicing disgust and anguish over Zimmerman’s acquittal.