- (Photo: Reuters/Yves Herman/Files)
Hillary Clinton revealed that she had experienced a great "heartache" over the recent not guilty verdict in the Trayvon Martin case during an appearance Tuesday evening at an African-American sorority group convention.
"My prayers are with the Martin family and with every family who loves someone who is lost to violence," the former Secretary of State said during the 30-minute speech. "No mother, no father, should ever have to fear for their child walking down a street in the United States of America."
She said she knew this week has "brought heartache, deep painful heartache" to families in the wake of the not guilty verdict that was delivered over the weekend.
Clinton's comments came during a speech to the 51st annual convention of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, the largest African-American women's sorority in the country. Organizers said that more than 14,000 people were in the room to hear her speak.
Zimmerman had been charged with second degree murder and manslaughter after shooting Martin dead after an altercation between the two last February
Lawyers for Zimmerman, a volunteer Florida neighborhood watchman, argued that he had killed Martin in self-defense and that he used justifiable deadly force. The jury retired on Friday to deliberate and weigh up whether the prosecution had presented a case for second degree murder beyond reasonable doubt.
The case had sparked a furious debate across the United States, with Zimmerman accused of racially profiling the teenager as he returned home from a local convenience store after buying a soda and some Skittles.
Zimmerman called 911 to report a "suspicious" person in the neighborhood and was told not to pursue by the dispatcher, but instead await police to attend. However, prosecutors allege that he continued to follow Martin, and the two later came to blows as an altercation broke out.
In the fight, Zimmerman had claimed that Martin, who himself was unarmed, went for the neighborhood watchman's gun, so Zimmerman described that he was forced to shoot him.