After 16 hours of deliberation, a jury of six women found George Zimmerman not guilty in the shooting death of 17-year-old teen Trayvon Martin.

The verdict was reached on Saturday evening (July 13).

Zimmerman had pleaded innocent to charges of second-degree murder, claiming that he had to kill an unarmed Martin in self defense.

The 29-year-old Florida neighborhood watch captain barely reacted when the not guilty verdict was announced at 10PM ET. Zimmerman merely shook hands with his attorneys. Although later he appeared to be holding back tears.

The verdict was a stunning end to a three-week trial in Sanford, Fla., which has polarized the nation and ignited debates about race and guns in America.

The Martin family was not in the courtroom when the verdict was announced. However, Martin's father, Tracy, responded on Twitter to his supporters.

"God blessed Me & Sybrina with Tray and even in his death I know my baby proud of the FIGHT we along with all of you put up for him GOD BLESS," he tweeted. "Thanks to everyone who are with us and who will be with us si we together can make sure that this doesn't happen again."

Tracy Martin concluded with this tweet: "Even though I am broken hearted my faith is unshattered I WILL ALWAYS LOVE MY BABY TRAY."

Reactions to the jury's verdict have stunned the hip-hop and R&B community.

The Reverend Al Sharpton called the George Zimmerman acquittal an "atrocity."

"I think that this is an atrocity," he said. "It is probably one of the worst situations that I have seen."

What are your thoughts on George Zimmerman's acquittal in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin? Tell us in the comments below.

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