TODAY   |  July 14, 2013

Jury acquits George Zimmerman in Trayvon Martin death

“Our whole family is relieved,” said the father of George Zimmerman after his son was acquitted late Saturday in the shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin. NBC’s Kerry Sanders reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> kerry, good morning.

>> reporter: good morning, lester, the jurors did not look at juror are juror. then as they sat down and the verdict was read, again, not one of the jurors even glanced at the 29-year-old who they found not guilty. george zimmerman stood as the clerk of the court read the jury's verdict.

>> we, the jury, find george zimmerman not guilty.

>> reporter: as is custom, they were poll, not guilty was a unanimous decision.

>> had is your verdict?

>> yes.

>> juror e-6 is this your verdict?

>> yes.

>> juror e-40 is this your verdict?

>> yes.

>> reporter: moments after george zimmerman left the courtroom a deputy removed an ankle monitor that he had worn for one year and eight days. as zimmerman 's family left the courtroom in tears, his father said, our whole familiy is relieved.

>> now that the jury decided he acted properly in self-defense, maybe we can give him a little bit of that understanding as well as he needs to get on with his life after having suffered several traumas.

>> i'm thrilled that this jury kept this tragedy from becoming a travesty. lrp lead prosecutor ricardo rincon said this is only the second of more than 80 murder trials where he's failed to secure a conviction.

>> am i disappointed, yes? i thought he was guilty. what matters is what the jury said and i accept it.

>> reporter: he could not hide his frustration.

>> it boils down to you have a 17-year-old kid who is minding his own business wearing a hoodie and gets accosted, gets followed by an individual who wants to be a cop.

>> reporter: while trayvon martin's family had been in the courtroom for the entire trial, on saturday when the verdict was read, they were not even in the courthouse. their legal team says trayvon martin's parents are disappointed, but they accept the verdict.

>> to everybody that put their hoodies up and to everybody who said i am trayvon, his family expressed their heartfelt grat gratitude.

>> on behalf of tracy and sybrina who are heartbroken right now, we ask that you keep them in your prayers.

>> reporter: george zimmerman is now free. his legal team says it's unlikely he'll be out in public because he still fears for his safety. lesser?

>> kerry sanders , thanks. ron mott