Belfast Telegraph

Stars react to George Zimmerman's acquittal

Celebrities are stunned a Florida man was acquitted Saturday in the murder of an unarmed Florida teenager in one of the most controversial criminal trials of the year.

The case gained worldwide attention after Zimmerman, 29, shot and killed unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida on February 26, 2012.

Racial tensions were high during the trial as the defendant, a Hispanic American, was accused of profiling the 17-year-old, who was black.

Zimmerman avoided life in prison on a charge of second-degree murder when the jury announced a not guilty verdict Saturday.

Rihanna swiftly joined the chorus of tweets as social media latched onto the case.

"This is the saddest news ever!!! #whatsjustice #pray4theMartinFamily," the singer wrote.

Gabrielle Union chimed in, upset by the outcome and what it means for young Americans.

"How do we explain this to children? RT @lolaogunnaike: Apparently walking while black is a crime punishable by death. #TrayvonMartin," she wrote.

Mandy Moore called the decision "shameful".

"My heart is heavy...for all who knew and loved #TrayvonMartin. His life mattered. This is shameful," the actress wrote.

"My heart hurts..." Debra Messing echoed.

Donnie Wahlberg offered his prayers to the late teenager and his grieving family.

Sean 'Diddy' Combs meanwhile asked that those upset by the decision not carry out vigilante justice.

"Leave it in GOD's hands," the music mogul tweeted, "#JusticeForTrayvon."

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