George Zimmerman was found not guilty Saturday night. Today, across the country, we've seen the ripple effect of that decision. Protests and vigils are taking place coast to coast, including one right here in Rockford.
After hearing George Zimmerman would be acquitted of his charges, a few local advocates felt something needed to be done.
"I was really saddened and I was shocked, I couldn't believe it. I sat there trying to find some solace, some peace and understanding, so what I did so, I went to Facebook," says Christopher Sims, Co-Chair of the Rockford Anti-Racism Network.
Sims decided to organize a vigil in downtown Rockford. He was joined by several area ministers, including Matthew Johnson-Doyle. Johnson-Doyle says he's concerned about the outcome of the Zimmerman case, but also about the recent violence here in Rockford.
"And there's a need for citizens to say that this is not ok and we value these lives and they're important to us," says Johnson-Doyle.
Vigil leaders listed of the names of the eight people murdered in Rockford over the past several days.
In all, nearly 75 concerned Rockford citizens gathered at Ingersoll Park for an evening vigil aimed at bringing about peace both nationally and locally.
"That we take care of each other and we treat each other with respect and we don't go pushing each other around," says Catherine Rennert, a vigil attendee.
Their course took them west to the Public Safety Building. Marchers sang as they walked.
Those in attendance say peace was the main purpose of the vigil. Some rallies across the country were more fueled by emotion. In Oakland, California, demonstrators started fires in the streets, and broke out windows. A protest in Los Angeles was ended by police who fired beanbag rounds at the crowds.
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