Justice Was Not Served: Thousands Respond to the George Zimmerman Verdict

from the Editors

July 15, 2013

Last Saturday, a jury declared George Zimmerman not guilty of the murder of Trayvon Martin. Thousands of people in cities across the country reacted in outrage as the U.S. legal system confirmed that a Black boy’s life is worth little in the eyes of the law, and that Trayvon Martin had no right to defend himself against a racist vigilante.

We’ve collected images from a few of the many events held over the past couple of days to protest the decision and express solidarity with Trayvon. We’ll continue to update this page as more reports and images are gathered.

New York

Photo by Nate F.
Following the announcement of the not guilty verdict, President Obama urged “calm reflection” in response. But thousands of people at rallies in New York and dozens of other cities understand that calm reflection is not going to end the system of institutionalized violence and racism.

Photo by Nate F.

Photo by Anthony J. Hayes
Protestors flooded Times Square, blocking off traffic.


Photo by Theresa M.
Close to 1,000 people marched to the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. A smaller crowd had also gathered the night before near city hall immediately following the announcement of the verdict.

Photo by Theresa M.
Trayvon Martin was also eating a snack just before he was murdered. There were many children present at the events in Philadelphia and elsewhere, and some of them even led chants or spoke at the rallies.

Photo by Theresa M.
Frank Rizzo, former police commissioner and mayor of Philadelphia, was famous for his blatant and often violent racism, including raids against the Black Panthers. Organizers decorated the statue to call attention to the history of state sanctioned violence against Black and Brown people, of which Trayvon Martin’s murder is just one of the more recent examples.


Photo by Catie Leary
A march was organized in Atlanta the night of the verdict and lasted from midnight until around 1:30. Marchers were encouraged by enthusiastic honking from passing cars.

Photo by Catie Leary


Photo by Paul L.
Two to three hundred people gathered for a protest in Miami.

Photo by Paul L.
The Miami protests were partly organized by Dream activists and other immigrant led groups.


Photo by James McKamey
Community organizers with Concerned Citizens for Justice in Chattanooga used this example of injustice as a teaching moment, discussing examples of police violence in the local community and demanding “solutions that involve jobs and resources, not more imprisonment of Black and Brown people or more law enforcement by the Chattanooga Police Department with its history of abuse against Black people.”


Photo by Jessica Magers-Rankin
Community members in Knoxville, TN gathered at a vigil to honor Trayvon’s life and call attention to the desperate need for racial justice in the U.S.


Photo by Zach Blume
A common feature of the events organized around Trayvon Martin’s murder and Zimmerman’s trial have been the diversity of the crowds, with not just Black people but many white and Latino and other people uniting to demand racial justice.

Photo by Zach Blume

Photo by Zach Blume
Zimmerman’s defense lawyers, and even members of the prosecution team, tried to claim this case was not about racism, but participants in these events understood that ‘racism’ is exactly the right name for the system that allows unarmed Black men to be stalked and murdered in their own neighborhoods and declares the murderer innocent.


Large protests were held in Oakland, a city with an especially strong history of racial violence.

AP Photo by Craig Ruttle

Los Angeles

Protestors in Los Angeles shut down Interstate 10 for some time during their protest.


Photo by Matt S.
Over 300 people gathered at the event in Detroit, a city all too familiar with state sanctioned violence against oppressed communities.

Photo by Matt S.
A study by Operation Ghetto Storm reports that, on average, a Black person is killed by police once every 28 hours. Trayvon Martin has been the most visible example but far from an isolated one.

Photo by Matt S.
Many of the speakers at the event in Detroit were people who had also had family members killed by the police, including seven-year-old Aiyana Stanley Jones, who was killed by Detroit Police being filmed for a reality TV show.

Burlington, VT

Photo by Traven L.
Around 200 people gathered in Burlington, VT.

Photo by Traven L.

Springfield, MA

Photo by Karin B.
At a vigil in Springfield, MA, attendees were asked to bring Skittles, which were collected at the event and will be sent to DC to remind the government that people want justice.


One response to “Justice Was Not Served: Thousands Respond to the George Zimmerman Verdict”

  1. dianne feeley Avatar
    dianne feeley

    Great photo essay! Prosecution case was so weak and unprepared that Zimmerman’s lawyer drove a Mack truck through it.