Locals hold vigils in wake of Zimmerman verdict


by Brittany Gonzalez and C.J. Daniels (web story)


Posted on July 14, 2013 at 7:46 PM

Updated Sunday, Jul 14 at 9:07 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – Just hours after the controversial ruling in the George Zimmerman murder trial, reactions from around the country have sparked demonstrations.

Since the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, people in Kentuckiana have marched and rallied to show their support for the teen and his family.

Many of the supporters have never met Martin, but have been involved with the trial because many say they see themselves, their sons and brothers in the slain teen.

Those who attended vigils in Louisville say that hearing George Zimmerman being acquitted, particularly the words “not guilty,” brought tears to their eyes and anger.

“When an African-American boy is walking down the street, unarmed and he gets murdered – He didn’t ask to die, he didn’t kill himself,” event organizer Theresa Thomas said. “To let someone walk free when an African-American boy was murdered, it’s not right – it’s unjust. I don’t understand how he [Zimmerman] could be found not guilty.”

Many have taken this opportunity to hold public rallies to give those a positive way to express their grief and concern.

“We look around, we see a lot of people we work with going through struggles so it’s a chance to look around and let people know we’re not satisfied with the crimes being committed in our judicial system,” rally attendee Stephen Bartlett said.

The group Connected Voices plan on holding a silent reflection for Martin on Wednesday at 7 p.m. on the Waterfront. They are asking people to bring balloons for a balloon release.

People are also encouraged to bring signs, candles and wear black hoodies.

Citizens in Jeffersonville are also holding a vigil Sunday evening at 8 p.m. at the Clark County Courthouse to support the Martin family.

George Zimmerman was found not guilty of second degree murder Saturday night in the shooting of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida in February 2012.