Beyonce Honors Trayvon Martin; Government Investigating Zimmerman Case After 'Not Guilty' Verdict Sparks Outrage

Expand | Collapse
(Photo: Reuters/Joe Burbank)George Zimmerman (R) is congratulated by his defense team after being found not guilty in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin at the Seminole County Criminal Justice Center in Sanford, Florida, July 13, 2013. Zimmerman was acquitted of all charges on Saturday for the fatal shooting of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin in this central Florida town in February of last year.

Beyonce Knowles held a moment of silence for slain teenager, Trayvon Martin, after his killer, George Zimmerman, was found not guilty of second-degree murder and acquitted on manslaughter charges on Saturday.

While performing her Mrs. Carter World Tour in Nashville, Tennessee the Grammy award-winning singer, 31, took a moment to remember Martin, who was just 17 at the time of his death. The show began just 30 minutes after jurors in Florida reached their verdict.

"I'd like to have a moment of silence for Trayvon," Beyonce told the crowd, according to MailOnline.

The singer proceeded to belt out her own rendition of Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You" before singing her own song "Halo."

On February 26, 2012 Martin, who was walking home in Sanford after buying candy and Ice Tea from a store, was followed and gunned down by Zimmerman, a self-appointed neighborhood watch captain. After just over 16 hours of deliberations six jurors, five white women and one Hispanic woman, cleared Zimmerman of any wrong-doing which sparked nation-wide protests.

(Photo: Reuters/Adrees Latif)An image of Trayvon Martin (C) is carried amidst hundreds of demonstrators who are demanding justice while marching to Times Square from New York's Union Square July 14, 2013. U.S. President Barack Obama called for calm on Sunday after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin, as thousands of civil rights demonstrators turned out at rallies to condemn racial profiling. Zimmerman, cleared late on Saturday by a Florida jury of six women, still faces public outrage, a possible civil suit and demands for a federal investigation.

On Sunday the Department of Justice confirmed that it had launched a probe into the case after receiving calls from civil rights leaders across the nation, demanding that new criminal charges be filed against Zimmerman.

"Experienced federal prosecutors will determine whether the evidence reveals a prosecutable violation of any of the limited federal criminal civil rights statutes within our jurisdiction, and whether federal prosecution is appropriate," the Justice Department said.

President Barack Obama released a statement shortly after news of Zimmerman's acquittal went viral. While sympathizing with the Martin family, he called on the public to respect the verdict.

"The death of Trayvon Martin was a tragedy. Not just for his family, or for any one community, but for America," President Obama said. "I know this case has elicited strong passions. And in the wake of the verdict, I know those passions may be running even higher. But we are a nation of laws, and a jury has spoken."

Critics including NAACP President Benjamin Jealous expressed outrage over Saturday's verdict.

"We are outraged and heartbroken over today's verdict," Jealous said in a statement. "We will pursue civil rights charges with the Department of Justice, we will continue to fight for the removal of Stand Your Ground laws in every state and we will not rest until racial profiling in all its forms is outlawed."

In addition to Beyonce, other Hollywood stars including her sister Solange, Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and Miley Cyrus vented outrage.

"I'm for truth, no matter who tells it. I'm for justice, no matter who it's for or against," Solange said at a New York rally while quoting civil rights hero Malcolm X.

"This is the saddest news ever!!! #whatsjustice #pray4theMartinFamily," Rihanna tweeted.

"My heart goes out to Trayvon Martin's family & loved ones. Thought & prayers being sent their way #NoJustice ," Kardashian tweeted.

"I feel sick. #RipTrayvonMartin. No justice. No peace. The world is a scary place," Cyrus wrote in a series of tweets.