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Is constant coverage of George Zimmerman trial taking a toll?

10:26 PM, Jul 12, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- As the nation watches and waits for the verdict in the George Zimmerman case, First Coast News hit the streets to find out what Jacksonville locals are saying. Opinions included everyone from the devoted verdict watcher to a woman who's never heard of Zimmerman.

"It's everywhere, I'm not sure how they ever found anyone that's never heard about it," said Chris Sawyer, a Jacksonville resident.

The Zimmerman trial has been at the center of the national news media since opening arguments on June 24th.

Now more than two weeks later, the non-stop coverage has hit a boiling point as a jury made up of six women start the deliberation process.

RELATED: Zimmerman trial jurors wrap first day of deliberations

As the trial nears a verdict, the social implications behind the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin by neighborhood watchman Zimmerman are in the forefront and stirring debate over gun rights and race.

"There's still a racial problem in this country, it's gonna always be here, it's gonna be here 'til I die and my kids die," said Michael Angelo Rivers, a Jacksonville resident.

Race has become such an issue, police and community leaders are worried the verdict could lead to violence.

The Broward County Sheriff's Office even released a public service announcement called "raise your voice, not your hand."

Despite the constant coverage, we found one woman who missed the entire case and when asked, "Do you know who George Zimmerman is?" replied:

"I have absolutely no idea who that is," said Stephanie Karalaus, a Jacksonville resident.

The deliberations will continue Saturday starting at 9 a.m.

First Coast News

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