Baltimore reacted to George Zimmerman’s acquittal in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin with passionate calls for justice and for peace. Several local faith and community leaders stood with Baltimore Police Comissioner Anthony Batts urging a peaceful reaction to the controversial verdict, even as they made no bones about their own outrage. Empowerment Temple’s Rev. Jamal-Harrison Bryant even credited the outcome with “the devaluing of black life.”
On Sunday, over 300 gathered in the Inner Harbor to protest the verdict at a rally attended by Bryant and the NAACP. Calls were made for the U.S. Justice Department to bring federal civil rights charges against Zimmerman, and Bryant said he would be among a group of pastors traveling to Washington Tuesday to speak with Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.
Bryant went on to urge protesters to channel their anger over the Martin killing into efforts to reduce the ongoing violence in Baltimore.
As of Sunday night, no violence related to the verdict had been reported. Another rally is scheduled for McKeldin Square at 5 p.m. today.
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