Social Media Echoes Divide on Zimmerman Verdict

Sunday, 14 Jul 2013 07:18 PM

By Greg Richter

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The jury may have spoken in the George Zimmerman murder trial, but social media is still abuzz as Americans take to their computers,smartphones and tablets to weigh in on the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin and the justice system that produced Saturday's not guilty verdict.

While everyone from the local sheriff in Sanford, Fla., to President Barack Obama urged calm in the aftermath of the racially charged trial, Twitter and Facebook show that the debate over Zimmerman's guilt or innocence is still raging on in cyberspace.

ABC News reports that tweets about the case shot to more than 47,800 TPM (tweets per minute) shortly after the verdict was announced by the court, even surpassing the number of tweets about the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December 2012.

And that may be a good thing as both sides air their concerns in a non-violent forum.

Zimmerman supporters insist that the 29-year-old former neighborhood watch captain  acted in self-defense, and that he didn't break any laws in using deadly force because he feared for his life.

But Martin's defenders say the verdict is evidence that African-Americans cannot feel safe — or trust the justice system to protect them from racial profiling and bias.

Here is a sampling of the reaction on Twitter:

Nicole Figueroa (@peanut_figs)
"A woman is instantly arrested for throwing flour on Kim kardashian but the guy who killed Trayvon Martin walks away freely . . . makes sense."

Matthew Saucier (@SaucierMatt)
"Racist murderers don't call the police multiple times to direct them to their future crime scene."

Myles Autry (@KingCinco)
"Only Ignorant People Thinks That The Zimmerman Case Was Racist! Read The Laws Before Yall Open Yall Mouths. Like It Or Not Trayvon Was Wrong."

Funk Flex !!!!! (@funkmasterflex)
"Gun Used To Murder Trayvon Martin Will Be RETURNED To Zimmerman."

Joe the Dissident (@joethepatriotic)
"That's the way the system is supposed to work. Now, may God protect the members of that dutiful jury #ZimmermanTrial #JusticeForZimmerman."

Bernadette Quigley (@quigdette)
"The fight for justice for #Trayvon continues. Demand the DOJ file civil rights charges against George Zimmerman."

Here is a snapshot of the reaction on Facebook:

Black HistoryStudies
"Lets take our anger & disgust on the #trayvon case and turn it into powerful progressive action. Make positive change in your communities."

Taylor Clark
"ALERT! Do not forget to set your clocks back 200 years before you go to bed tonight. #Trayvon‬."

Joshua Major Miller
"The #TrayvonMartin case wasn't just for or about #Trayvon. It was about each and every #Black man, woman, and child. For every single individual that's labeled a minority. For those who have lost family to law enforcement. For those parents that has lost their children to street violence."


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