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Protests across the country have drawn hundreds of supporters for Trayvon Martin, the year-old who Zimmerman shot and killed in February in Sanford. Zimmerman said the killing was in self-defense, and on Saturday night a jury acquitted him of murder and manslaughter. In April last year, Martin's parents were part of a town hall meeting at Beulah Baptist Institutional Church in Tampa that drew some people. On Sunday, the Rev. James Favorite told more than people at the morning service that the verdict was an "injustice.
Favorite criticized a justice system that would try a man for killing a black youth and allow a jury of six women — five of them white and one Hispanic — on the panel.
He added, "There is not justice for African-Americans in this country. We may as well accept it. We do not like that kind of justice.
Lady Justice has her blindfold off in regards to us. Many churchgoers said Sunday they were struggling to make peace with the jury's decision. Those who stayed up late Saturday to hear the verdict said they spent the night worrying, thinking of their children and grandchildren and the seeming randomness of Zimmerman's encounter with Martin.
Betty Nelson, 74, who attended the a. Zion Progressive Baptist Church in St. Petersburg, said she lay awake for hours, praying for her grandsons. The criminal case was alluded to, but not explicitly mentioned, during the St.
Petersburg church's early morning sermon, a fact that Nelson said spoke to the black community's willingness to move on. Even when we don't like it.
In the parking lot of Bethel Community, following Rev. Cribb's sermon, Katherine Jones, 87, said she was surprised to hear the minister say justice had been done. But nothing about the jury's decision struck her as just, she said.
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