Trayvon Martin's parents shocked by Zimmerman acquittal

Trayvon Martin's parents say they're still in shock and disbelief that jurors acquitted George Zimmerman in the 2012 shooting death of their son at the Sanford, Fla., housing complex where the teenager was visiting his father.

Sybrina Fulton, Tracy Martin speak publicly for 1st time since jury's verdict in Sanford, Fla.

Sybrina Fulton, left, and Tracy Martin, the parents of Florida shooting victim Trayvon Martin, spoke on daytime talk shows Thursday for the first time since George Zimmerman was found not guilty Saturday in their 17-year-old son's death. (Today)
Trayvon Martin's parents say they're still in shock and disbelief that jurors acquitted George Zimmerman in the 2012 shooting death of their son at the Sanford, Fla., housing complex where the teenager was visiting his father.

Martin's parents made appearances on network morning news shows Thursday, five days after a six-woman jury found former neighbourhood watch volunteer Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder.

It marked the first time Martin's parents, who are no longer married, have spoken out since the verdict Saturday following a three-week trial in Sanford.

On NBC's Today show, Sybrina Fulton questioned whether jurors looked at the shooting from her son's point of view.

"He was a teenager. He was scared. He did run," said Fulton, who added that she believes the justice system failed her son.

"We didn't get the verdict we wanted because we wanted him to be [held] accountable."

Martin's father, Tracy Martin, expressed disbelief in the verdict handed down by a six-woman jury following a three-week trial in central Florida.

"We felt in our hearts that we were going to get a conviction," Martin said. "We felt that the killer of our unarmed child was going to be convicted of the crime he committed."

Jury didn't know Martin 'as a human being'

On ABC's Good Morning America, Tracy Martin said he felt the jury did not get a chance to get to know the teen.

"They didn't know him as a human being," he said.

Martin's parents said they still believe Zimmerman, who identifies himself as Hispanic, racially profiled their son.

"Obviously, any time you have a person that makes an assumption that a person is up to no good, that's some kind of profiling," Martin said. "Was he racially profiled? I think if Trayvon had been white, this never would have happened."

Zimmerman claimed he shot Martin in self-defence.

Martin's mother said she believes the verdict sends a "terrible message to other little black and brown boys."

"They can't walk fast. They can't walk slow. So what do they do? How do they get home without people assuming you are doing something wrong?," Fulton said.

Fulton told CBS This Morning her son was not a burglar.

"He simply went to the store and was headed back home," she said. "And for somebody to look at him and perceive that he was a burglar, that was the problem that initiated everything."

Demonstrations continue after verdict

Since the verdict, demonstrations have been held across the U.S., and on the urgings of civil rights groups, the U.S. Justice Department has said it is reviewing the case to determine whether federal prosecutors should file criminal civil rights charges now that Zimmerman has been acquitted.

Martin's parents said they support the federal government looking into the case.

One of the jurors created a controversy after speaking out, saying the not guilty verdict was based on law. She spoke without revealing her identity. Four of the other jurors have distanced themselves from her comments.

In the latest protests over the verdict, a demonstration Wednesday night led to the arrests of 17 people in a small southern California city northeast of Los Angeles.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department says eight of the 17 people arrested in Victorville were juveniles.

The Los Angeles Times reports that most of the arrests in Victorville were made on charges of unlawful assembly. However, authorities told the paper that most of the 80 people who took part in the demonstration were peaceful.

Earlier this week, Los Angeles and Oakland were flashpoints for violent reactions to the verdict.

In Los Angeles on Wednesday, additional police patrols were added in one area as officers braced for possible unrest. No arrests have been reported.