Lowcountry reacts to Zimmerman verdict - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Lowcountry reacts to Zimmerman verdict

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CHARLESTON, SC -

A day after the not guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman trial, many people around the nation took to the streets to have their voices and opinions heard.

Many around the Charleston spoke out Sunday about the trial.

"I've seen a lot of people react as if this was a very racist decision," Robert Herron said. "That Americans are just showing how much they hate African Americans, and I think that is a very unjust thing to say."

However, for a community that is just decades removed from countless years of segregation and what some would call second class treatment, the reaction was focused on family.

"If you have children at your home and in your family, hold them a little bit longer," Reverend William Swinton said during his sermon Sunday. "Kiss them, a little bit longer. Love them a little bit longer."

Even James Island native turned Atlanta Falcons star Roddy White joined the conversation saying on his Twitter, "All them jurors should go home and kill themselves for letting a grown man get away with killing a kid."

White later apologized for the tweet calling it, "extreme," and said he was shocked and saddened by the verdict.

Others around the Lowcountry focused not on the black and white races in the case, but the black and white facts.

"I don't know what people expected with the justice system," Daniel Drylie said. "It's not about what happened or what you intuitively think happened. It's what you can definitively prove, and there was such a lack of evidence either way in this case."

Some hope this case will open the door to a national dialogue on race relations.

"I think this is a good area for discussion," Drylie said. "It's an opportunity to improve things."

That sentiment was echoed by President Barack Obama who released a statement Sunday night which said in part:

I now ask every American to respect the call for calm reflection from two parents who lost their young son. And as we do, we should ask ourselves if we're doing all we can to widen the circle of compassion and understanding in our own communities.

As the national debate continues over the role race should play in this case, the African American community in Charleston seems to be wrapping themselves around in prayer.

"If we live in a world where children can go to the store to buy Skittles and be approached and ultimately murdered, we need to pray," Rev. Swinton said.

The national chapter of the NAACP said they have reached out to the U.S. Attorney General about pressing federal charges against Zimmerman. Neither the Martins nor George Zimmerman himself have made any public comments since the verdict was given.

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