US & Canada

Trayvon Martin mother 'disgusted' by Zimmerman verdict

Media captionTrayvon Martin's parents say they were "shocked and disgusted by the verdict' (Interview from ABC)

The mother of Trayvon Martin has described her shock and "disgust" after a neighbourhood watch member was cleared of killing her unarmed son.

Sybrina Fulton was giving her first televised interview since the verdict, alongside her ex-husband Tracy Martin.

"I really didn't believe that he was not guilty," she told ABC's Good Morning America.

George Zimmerman, 29, said he opened fire in self-defence on the 17-year-old in Sanford, Florida, in February 2012.

Saturday's not-guilty verdict from the all-female jury of six prompted nationwide protests, with further demonstrations planned for this weekend.

"As parents, understanding how they reached the verdict, I'll never grasp that concept," said Mr Martin, Trayvon's father.

"We just continue to pray that whatever was in their heart was what they intended to do. But we didn't feel it was fair and, of course, it was devastating."

'Justice for Trayvon'

The couple reiterated their calls for a review of the laws surrounding the case.

Image caption The verdict has sparked protests across the United States

The US Department of Justice has said it will resume its investigation into whether Trayvon Martin's civil rights were breached during the fatal confrontation.

In order to file civil rights charges, it would have to be shown that Mr Zimmerman was motivated by racial animosity.

Trayvon Martin's parents say he was racially profiled, although no evidence of racial bias was presented during the trial.

On Wednesday, US Attorney General Eric Holder cited the case as he urged a nationwide review of "stand your ground" laws, which permit the use of deadly force if a person feels seriously threatened.

The issue was never raised during the trial, though the judge included a provision about the law in her instructions to the jury, allowing it to be considered as a legitimate defence.

A civil rights conference is set to be held next week to address the "stand your ground" issue.

Broadcaster and rights activist Rev Al Sharpton has called for "Justice for Trayvon" rallies at noon on Saturday in 100 cities around the US, appealing for federal civil rights charges to be brought against Mr Zimmerman.

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