BROOKLYN - Brooklyn residents are among those joining mass protests across the country in response to the verdict in the George Zimmerman murder trial.
Protesters gathered for a peaceful rally at Borough Hall Sunday after a jury found the neighborhood watchman not guilty late Saturday of second-degree murder in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
A petition was passed around calling on the U.S. Justice Department to file civil rights charges against Zimmerman, who says he shot the unarmed teen last February in self-defense. The rally was led by the Brooklyn chapter of the NAACP.
Protests also erupted in other parts of the city, including a march in Manhattan from Union Square to Times Square. Thousands of people chanted "no justice, no peace" along the way, and dubbed the movement "Hoodies Up for Trayvon."
Mayor Michael Bloomberg offered a statement in response to the verdict, saying, "Sadly, all the facts in this tragic case will probably never known. But one fact has long been crystal clear: Shoot first laws like those in Florida can inspire dangerous vigilantism and protect those who act recklessly with guns."
In a statement, the Department of Justice said the FBI is continuing to evaluate evidence gathered in the criminal investigation and testimony from the trial. Prosecutors will then determine whether Zimmerman violated any civil rights laws.