Rev. Al Sharpton also weighed in.
"The acquittal of George Zimmerman is a slap in the face to the American people," he said.
Not all agree
Despite the fury and frustration on one side of the verdict, others approved the jury's decision.
"The actual case against Zimmerman was weak. Jurors should be commended for making the right call," Chicago Sun-Times columnist and author, Richard Roeper, wrote on Twitter.
Doesn't mean Zimmerman is 'innocent.'" CaptYonah tweeted, "Fact is, the evidence PROVED Zimmerman not guilty." GreeneBri wrote, "There is a reasonable doubt and I think our justice system did what it's supposed to do."
Many trial watchers, who suspected it would end this way, argued this case should never have been about race.
It would be unfair to make George Zimmerman pay for generations of racial inequalities, no matter how real or painful those troubles may be, some said.
Some suggested it was Zimmerman who was being pilloried to placate angry African-American voters and others who rallied to make the killing a cause.
Defense attorney Mark O'Mara, even while speaking highly of the civil rights movement, said if his client had been black, "he never would have been charged with a crime. It certainly would never have happened if he were black because those people who decided they were going to make him the scapegoat would not have."
His partner at the defense table, attorney Don West said, "I think the prosecution of George Zimmerman was disgraceful. It makes me sad ... that it took this long under these circumstances to finally get justice."
Reconciling the two wildly disparate views of this trial is not easy.
As legal analysts noted in the months leading up to the testimony, so many people made it so clear they saw the killing in substantially different ways.
To one side, Zimmerman was at worst an overzealous citizen just trying to make sure his neighborhood was safe. To the other, he was a gun-toting predator, hunting, harassing and provoking a fatal fight with an innocent teen.
To one side, Martin was little more than a child returning home after getting a snack. To the other, he was a hulking young man who could have gone inside, talked with Zimmerman or called the police, but instead decided to attack with his fists and paid with his life.
And since people on both sides seemed to have decided the case before the testimony was heard, the verdict was bound to be disturbing no matter how it tilted. Simply put, preconceived notions effectively had people watching two different trials, with every bit of testimony and evidence producing different, and often opposing, reactions in those dueling audiences.
Florida State Attorney Angela Corey, while standing with the disappointed prosecution team, seemed to tip her hat to that reality.
"I never could quite understand people, even people with law degrees, who had not read all of the police reports, who had not read all of the witness statements, yet who came up with opinions one way or the other," she said.
But that is what happened.
"A race war in America is sadly alive and well," conservative radio host Ben Ferguson says. He's frustrated with the many celebrities, sports figures, and activists expressing outrage.
"These people do not care about the facts or respect the law. They want their form of justice and, more importantly, added fame that commenting on this case can bring. These 'professionals' are race baiting to gain a more loyal following."
With the verdict, the winning side felt that justice was served. And the other? Georgetown's Jackson summed up his thoughts.
"Like Trayvon Martin's father, my heart is broken. I am sad to say that I expected this verdict," he said. "There is much to love about our country, but there are also things that happen to black people every day that make you want to put your head down and cry."