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Some heard the verdict on cable TV, others via Twitter and Facebook, and many by word of mouth, like Debra Nam Krane of Jamiaca Plain.

"I found out right before I went to sleep," she said. "My 19-year-old came into my room and told me the verdict, and was like 'No, I'm not even kidding.' And then I woke up I was supposed to do some work, but I checked my social media and all of my friends who had woken up before were like, 'I can't believe this.'"

However people heard news of the Zimmerman verdict, 500 or more area residents responded by rallying peacefully in a park on the corner of Dudley and Washington in Roxbury. Nam Krane came here with her family.

The multi-racial, multi-ethic crowd spanning three generations included 10 Latino and African American teenage friends.

"We ain’t no gang, we ain't no crew, we just bros, we just a family," said one of the boys.

All are about the same age or younger than Trayvon Martin.

"I was mad, man, I was mad that was crazy," he said. "I mean, a man can't walk around with a hoodie and some Skittles and some Tims on on a cold night. That could have been any one of us … imagine if it was Trayvon who shot him. What do you think the verdict would be?"

Sandy Rosen is a grandmother from Cambridge:

"I'm here because I'm so upset by the outcome of this," she said. "I'm older. I've seen cases of racism over and over, and frankly at this point, I don't have confidence in the courts."

Speaker after speaker at the Trayvon Martin rally denounced the verdict and called on the U.S. Justice Department to try George Zimmerman in federal court.

More rallies are planned in Boston and elsewhere around the nation in the coming days to protest the Zimmerman verdict and the Florida law on which it was based.