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Portlanders surprised by Zimmerman verdict

After six women declared George Zimmerman not guilty verdict in the killing of Trayvon Martin reaction was swift from all corners of the country. In Portland, most of the people who spoke with KOIN 6 News disagreed with the jury.

“I don’t know what to say,” said Leza Viljoen. “I wonder what they based their decision on.”

Colin Cassady told KOIN 6 News, “I guess that says something on society’s views on black kids and hoodies. I guess that’s not acceptable.”

“I believe it’s typical of the injustice of African-Americans in the system. It’s historical. And it continues and I believe it will continue,” said Daniel Jefferson.

Rebecca Robb was very surprised. “I will say I don’t think we really know what goes on in a courtroom. And sometimes from outside the courtroom we make judgements about decisions not being privvy to all the details.”

“I don’t care what race you are,” Felicia Jefferson said. “I believe if you kill someone you deserve jail time, no matter what.”

On Twitter, Trayvon Martin’s father said, “Even though I am broken-hearted, my faith is unshattered. I will always love my Baby Tray.”

In a statement, NAACP president Benjamin Todd Jealous said, in part, “We will pursue civil rights charges with the Department of Justice, we will continue to fight for the removal of Stand Your Ground laws in every state, and we will not rest until racial profiling in all its forms is outlawed.”

Zimmerman showed little reaction when the verdict was announced, but one of his lawyers says the legal team is ecstatic. Another member of the defense team says he is “thrilled” that the jury “kept this tragedy from becoming a travesty.”

The jurors in the George Zimmerman trial aren’t talking to the media about their 15 hours of deliberations that ended with his acquittal. The six-member, all-woman jury had to weigh three weeks of often conflicting testimony about who was the aggressor on the night the 17-year-old was shot. The jurors could have convicted Zimmerman of second-degree murder or manslaughter, but instead found him not guilty.