FILE - In this July 8, 2013 file photo, George Zimmerman sits in the courtroom during his trial in Seminole Circuit Court, in Sanford, Fla. Police and city leaders in Sanford and South Florida are preparing for the possibility of mass demonstrations and civil unrest if Zimmerman is acquitted in the killing of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin, particularly in African-American neighborhoods where passions about the case run strongest. (AP Photo /Orlando Sentinel, Joe Burbank, Pool, File)
SANFORD, Fla. (AP) -- More than a year after the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman emerged from a Florida courthouse a free man, cleared of all charges.
A jury found Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder late Saturday night and declined to convict him on a lesser charge of manslaughter.
His brother, Robert Zimmerman Jr., says the former neighborhood watch volunteer was still processing the reality that he wouldn't serve prison time for the killing, which Zimmerman has maintained was an act of self-defense. However, with many critics angry over his acquittal, his freedom will likely be limited.
Defense attorney Mark O'Mara suggested Zimmerman's safety would be an ongoing concern. He says a fringe element of society still wants revenge for Martin's killing. Protests erupted across the country after the verdict was read.