Chicago clergy call for calm after Martin verdict

July 14, 2013

The Associated Press

(AP Photo/Joe Burbank, Pool)
George Zimmerman leaves court with his family after Zimmerman's not guilty verdict was read in Seminole Circuit Court in Sanford, Fla. on Saturday, July 13, 2013.
CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago's Black clergy are calling for calm in the wake of the Trayvon Martin verdict.

The pleas followed a Florida jury's decisions to clear former Florida neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman of all charges in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

Zimmerman claimed he was acting in self-defense when he shot and killed the teen last year at a condominium development.

Martin's death unleashed debate across the U.S. over racial profiling, self-defense and equal justice.

Some Chicago activists have called for a downtown rally on Sunday, and clergy will hold news conferences to stress nonviolence.

Pastor Ira Acree of Chicago's Greater St. John Bible Church says the community should become a "united voice for peace." He says it can't control the verdict but "can control our streets and communities."