Chicago clergy call for calm after Trayvon Martin verdict - New York News

Chicago clergy call for calm after Martin verdict

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CHICAGO (Associated Press) -

Black clergy throughout Chicago are calling for calm in the wake of the Trayvon Martin verdict.

The pleas follow a Florida jury's decisions to clear former Florida neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman of all charges in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

Zimmerman claimed he was acting in self-defense when he shot and killed the teen in February 2012 at a Sanford, Fla., condominium development.

Protests are planned in cities including Boston, New York City, Chicago and San Francisco on Sunday, a day after a jury found the former neighborhood watch volunteer not guilty. The case unleashed debate across the U.S. over racial profiling, self-defense and equal justice.

After the verdict, some angry protesters in Oakland, Calif., broke windows, burned flags and started small street fires. In Florida, about 200 demonstrators marched in Tallahassee carrying signs that said "Racism is Not Dead" and "Who's Next?"

Martin's death unleashed debate across the U.S. over racial profiling, self-defense and equal justice.

Civil rights leaders, including the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, have urged peace. Jackson says the legal system "failed justice," but violence isn't the answer.

Pastor Ira Acree of Chicago's Greater St. John Bible Church says the community should become a "united voice for peace" because it can't control the verdict but "can control our streets and communities."

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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