After the news that George Zimmerman was found not guilty in the Trayvon Martin trial on Saturday night, Martin supporters and celebrities have been showing their opposition to the verdict. Since the jury’s decision, the public outcries have not let up, with celebs like Beyoncé and others calling for peace.
Beyoncé halted the party during her Mrs. Carter Tour stop in Nashville last night to honor Martin, who was fatally shot February 26, 2012. “I’d like to have a moment of silence for Trayvon,” the singer said. Her concert started 30 minutes after the verdict came out, the Associated Press reports. After the moment of silence, Bey launched into “I Will Always Love You,” made famous by the late Whitney Houston. She then transitioned into her own hit, “Halo.”
Over the night, Young Jeezy came out with a tribute of his own. He released a new track, “It’s a Cold World” on his Facebook page in the early hours of Sunday (July 14) morning. “I am in no way shape, form, or fashion am trying to capitalize off of the latest series of events. These are my true feelings and my form of expression about it,” he said.
Young Jeezy, along with other big hip-hop figures, had previously talked to MTV News around the 17-year-old’s death last year. “It’s something very near and dear to me because my son is around his age, so I just can’t help but think,” Young Jeezy said. “But he looks like an innocent kid. I understand the situation as far as the dude wanted to be on the neighborhood watch, but everybody that’s black and young ain’t up to no good.”
Russell Simmons spilled his thoughts on the case on his blog, writing on Global Grind, “Tonight, Trayvon, rest in perfection, know that in your memory, your family has already saved hundreds, perhaps, thousands of lives and I am confident that they will save many, many more in the years to come.”
He also took to Twitter last night, saying, “Prayers for the Martin family. … Only God knows what was on Zimmerman mind but the gun laws and stand your ground laws must change.” He continued, “I know many people are very upset about the verdict, but we must remain peaceful. No matter what, remain peaceful.”
Adding to the list of celebs who already weighed in — Nicki Minaj, Rick Ross, Miley Cyrus — Olivia Wilde, Rihanna and others tweeted in response to the trial’s end.
This has to be a call to action. We must participate in the political process and demand the justice system we ALL deserve.
— olivia wilde (@oliviawilde) July 14, 2013
“This has to be a call to action. We must participate in the political process and demand the justice system we ALL deserve,” actress Olivia Wilde said.
“This is the saddest news ever!!! #whatsjustice #pray4theMartinFamily,” Rihanna tweeted last night.
— Rihanna (@rihanna) July 14, 2013
Politicians also came out with their views, with many split on the verdict along party lines.
“I worry about all those young black kids out there seeing a system of justice that doesn’t respond to them,” former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson (D) said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I think a national dialogue is needed.”
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement that “Stand Your Ground” laws, the basis on which George Zimmerman’s fatal shooting was justified, should be done away with.
“Sadly, all the facts in this tragic case will probably never be 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,” Bloomberg said. “Such laws — drafted by gun lobby extremists in Washington — encourage deadly confrontations by enabling people to shoot first and argue ’justifiable homicide’ later.”
But other politicians believe the jury just did its job in the only way possible and emphasized the strength of the laws.
“Although there may be people on either side of this that don’t agree how it came out, the fact is we have the best judicial system in the world,” Texas Governor Rick Perry (R) told CNN. “I think our justice system is colorblind.”
However, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) called for a continuation of the case.
“I think the Justice Department ought to take a look at this,” Reid said on “Meet thePress.” “This isn’t over.”