Chicago activists rally to protest George Zimmerman verdict - New York News

Chicago activists rally to protest George Zimmerman verdict

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Trayvon Martin, 17 Trayvon Martin, 17
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Protesters in Chicago say the verdict in the Trayvon Martin case is symbolic of lingering racism in the United States.

"This is the 21st century. We have Twitter, we have Instagram, we have Facebook," chanted protesters.

George Zimmerman is a free man after a jury's acquittal in the death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, and the reaction to that verdict that filled social media sites quickly spread to the streets.

"Justice for Trayvon Martin," chanted protesters.

On Sunday afternoon, the polarizing decision set in and more protests popped up from Michigan Avenue to Daley Plaza in Chicago.

READ MORE: Chicago clergy call for calm after Martin verdict

Even so, reaction was mixed.

"We know driving while black, walking while black, Trayvon Martin was killed because he was existing while black," said Marilena Marchetti, a Chicagoan.

"I have to believe that the court did their job and the jurors did their job," said Larry Ulmer, a Kalamazoo, Michigan resident.

"We've gone from approved killings in Mississippi in 1955 to approved killings in Florida in 2013," said Airickca Gordon-Taylor, Emit Till's Cousin.

Gordon-Taylor attended the Sunday afternoon protest at Daley Plaza.

14-year-old Till was murdered in Mississippi back in 1955 after reportedly flirting with a white woman.

"We're all increasingly vulnerable," said Reverend Jesse Jackson Sr. in an interview with FOX 32's Tisha Lewis.

Jackson says the Zimmerman verdict sets a dangerous precedent.

"They've added more guns, make us less secure… I'm stunned by the gross mischaracterization of justice. In this instance, the judicial system failed us… It's the extent of racial profiling in New York City. In Chicago last year, 57 people were shot or killed by police, 93% black or brown," said Jackson, President and Founder of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition.

Jackson says he spoke with Martin's attorneys about what's next, but for now urges protesters to be peaceful.

"The protests are legitimate, but they must be done with dignity, discipline and non-violence. We don't want to discredit the legacy of Trayvon Martin in a violent outburst," said Jackson.

In response to our report, Chicago Police wanted to make clear to the public that they "do not engage in racial profiling."

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