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Chicago Clergy Call For Calm After Martin Verdict

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Trayvon Martin's parents, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, are seen with the family's legal counsel Benjamin Crump. (Photo by PAULA BUSTAMANTE/AFP/Getty Images)

Trayvon Martin’s parents, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, are seen with the family’s legal counsel Benjamin Crump. (Photo by PAULA BUSTAMANTE/AFP/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (AP) — Black clergy throughout Chicago are calling for calm in the wake of the Trayvon Martin verdict.

The pleas follow 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 in February 2012 at a Sanford, Fla., condominium development.

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

The Rev. Jesse Jackson Jr. says the legal system “failed justice,” but says violence isn’t the answer.

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

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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