Trayvon Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump said on “This Week” that the family is “in disbelief” after the jury delivered a “not guilty” verdict on Saturday night in the George Zimmerman second-degree murder trial.
“They are still in disbelief about his death and now they are in disbelief about this verdict,” Crump told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos.
“They are trying to make sense of it,” Crump added. “They want people to know that they’re going to continue to fight for the legacy of their son, that he had every right to walk home from the 7-Eleven and not expect to be profiled and followed by a strange man. ”
The case made headlines last year when Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, claimed self-defense after fatally shooting 17-year-old Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26, 2012 in Sanford, Florida.
Today, the Martin family attorney said it would be “intellectually dishonest” not to acknowledge the “racial undertones in this case.”
“When prosecutor John Guy said if the roles were reversed, and Trayvon Martin would have followed and profiled and shot George in the heart, what would the verdict have been? And that’s the question that everybody is asking,” Crump said on “This Week.” “That’s why the whole world was watching this case to see if everybody can get equal justice, not just certain people.”
This morning, Crump also reflected on the broader implications of the case.
“We do want people to know that children should be able to live on this earth, walk on this earth, and not feel that they’re going to be profiled by what they wear or what ethnicity they belong to,” he said. “That has to be something we have to progress from to go from here.”
The trial began on June 24 and attorneys completed their closing arguments on July 12. The jury of 6 women deliberated for just 16 hours before handing down the verdict.
Martin’s family members weren’t in the courtroom when the verdict was read, but reacted on Twitter Saturday night. Tracy Martin, Trayvon’s father, expressed his disappointment with the verdict, tweeting, ”Even though I am broken hearted my faith is unshattered I WILL ALWAYS LOVE MY BABY TRAY.” Trayvon’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, tweeted ”Lord during my darkest hour I lean on you. You are all that I have. At the end of the day, GOD is still in control. Thank you all for your prayers and support. I will love you forever Trayvon!!! In the name of Jesus!!!”
Crump said on “This Week” that the family is considering additional legal options, including a civil lawsuit.
“They are certainly going to look at that as an option,” Crump said. “They deeply want a sense of justice. They deeply don’t want their son’s death to be in vain.”
Zimmerman, 29, exhibited little reaction in the courtroom when the verdict was announced after 10 p.m. on Saturday, shaking hands with his attorneys. He later hugged family members before he left the courthouse after being cleared of all charges.
The verdict prompted demonstrations and vigils around the country on Saturday night. It appears that most of the protests were peaceful, however there were reports of vandalism in Oakland, California.
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Grey Korhonen contributed to this report.