TODAY

TODAY   |  July 15, 2013

Demonstrators across US protest Zimmerman verdict

Late into the night in several major cities across the country, protesters took to the streets demanding justice for Trayvon Martin. The demonstrations were mostly peaceful, but did bring traffic to a standstill in several locations. NBC’s Kerry Sanders reports.

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>> george zimmerman verdict have been mainly peaceful but some groups did throw rocks and batteries at police in los angeles overnight.

>> we'll get right to kerry sanders who has been covering the trial in sanford, florida. good morning to you.

>> reporter: good morning, savannah. the trial is over, the not guilty verdict is in and the protests are growing. the city of sanford is preparing for what could be a massive protest this week. late into the night in several major city as cross the country, protestors poured into the streets demanding justice for trayvon martin.

>> something is wrong with our society and our world in general when these type things are able to happen.

>> fuelled by social media , the demonstrators were mostly peaceful but many are angry.

>> this whole system wants you to feel like trayvon was a criminal. this whole system is wrong.

>> in new york, a mass of demonstrators virtually shut down times square block streets and bringing traffic to a stand still . in los angeles , police called a city wide technical alert as about 200 protestors closed a portion of the freeway for about 25 minutes.

>> we the jury find george zimmerman not guilty.

>> reporter: the protest started growing after zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder in the killing of 17-year-old trayvon martin. even as zimmerman walked out of the courtroom a freeman on saturday night there were calls for more legal action against him. an naacp online petition calling for eric holder to intervene in the case got 1 half million signatures before the site crashed. the justice department said it already has an open investigation.

>> you want to see where the investigation leads.

>> reporter: while some predicted zimmerman would soon safe civil suits, his defense team pushed back.

>> we'll see how many civil lawsuits spawn from this fiasco.

>> reporter: near miami where trayvon martin lived members of his family attended church on sunday.

>> we're very concerned and very hurt and very disappointed at this point. but we know in the end god will prevail and he will -- justice will be served.

>> reporter: martin's parents were not at the service but his father tweeted god blessed me and sybrina with tray and he's proud of the fight we along with all of you put up for him. george zimmerman 's family responded on twitter saying our whole family is relieved. zimmerman attorney, don west .

>> i'm thrilled that this jury kept this tragedy from becoming a travesty.

>> reporter: the prosecution team said they accepted the jury's verdict but.

>> am i disappointed? yes. i thought he was guilty.

>> president obama called for calm reflection saying the death of trayvon martin was a tragedy. not just for his family or for any one community but for america.

>> reporter: under florida law george zimmerman can get back the pistol he used to kill 17-year-old trayvon martin. his brother says no reason why george zimmerman would not carry that concealed weapon again.

>>> kerry sanders , thank you. lisa