Demonstrators gathered outside the Seminole County Court House on Saturday evening July 13, waving signs while waiting for the George Zimmerman trial verdict. Local law enforcement cordoned off protesters into a “free speech area” in front of the court.
Breitbart News spoke to some of the demonstrators, the majority of whom are advocating for some form of a guilty verdict.
“If he gets manslaughter, he’ll still get the time but at the same time I think if he’s in prison, I don’t think he’ll last. He’ll stay in protective custody the whole time if he does,” said Ike, a 33-year-old Sanford resident.
Russell Lee of New York City agrees, telling Breitbart News, “A satisfactory verdict would be a guilty verdict. If (manslaughter) is a form that gets him behind bars for what he’s done, then yes, it would suffice.”
Other pro-Trayvon Martin demonstrators want Zimmerman to get second degree murder. Some chanted, “No manslaughter, second degree murder.”
A noticeably smaller group came out in support of Zimmerman. They waved signs in support of self-defense as well as “free George Zimmerman” posters.
Orlando resident Patrick Woodburn said:
I think he’s going to get found not guilty. I know they’ve been deliberating for a long time but if they follow the law and what the law states he should be found not guilty. To me they’re running on emotions and sympathy, and I can sympathize with that. But that’s what the law states and the defense didn’t go for “stand your ground” they went for self-defense and he’s covered by that rule also. He has a right to defend himself also and the boy got shot. He’s dead unfortunately. If it was the other way around, I’d be supporting Trayvon Martin.
Local law enforcement, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Justice have all prepared for possible riots following the verdict.