George Zimmerman has been found not guilty on all counts, a Florida jury has decided this evening.
The not guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman case was delivered at around 10 PM Eastern time.
Earlier this evening, the jurors in the Trayvon Martin case requested further information on manslaughter charges, leading many to speculate that a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter would be considered.
In the wake of the contentious verdict, Russell Simmons — a vocal proponent of Zimmerman’s prosecution — tweeted:
I know many people are very upset about the verdict, but we must remain peaceful. No matter what, remain peaceful.
In the Zimmerman trial, a jury of six women deliberated for 16 hours before returning a verdict late Saturday night in Seminole County, bringing an end to a year and a half of protests, outcry, and heated debate over whether the defendant was guilty of murder or acting in self defense when he shot unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin in February of 2012.
A press conference following the George Zimmerman verdict addressed the decision, and prosecutor Angela Corey said:
We believe we brought out the truth on behalf of Trayvon Martin.
She also said:
“We truly believe that the mindset of George Zimmerman… fit the bill for second degree murder.”
Speaking to the much debated scream on the 911 tape, Corey again noted that the scream stops on the tape after the shot was fired — suggesting that Martin and not Zimmerman had been crying for help.
The Southern Poverty Law Center opined on the Zimmerman verdict, saying of the outcome:
Acquittal gives new meaning to the statement "They always get away." This moment is tragic and ironic. #ZimmermanTrial
— SPLC (@splcenter) July 14, 2013
As news of the Zimmerman not guilty verdict spreads, protestors outside the courtroom are chanting “guilty as charged.”