Protests in New York continued until late in the night on Sunday (July 14) after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin.

Around 9.00 p.m. local time (1.00 a.m. GMT), several thousand demonstrators crowded a few blocks around Times Square, chanting "no justice, no peace."

The rally started earlier in the day in Union Square with a few dozen people, and then slowly grew into a gathering of thousands. They abandoned their initial site to march in the streets toward Times Square, slowing or stopping traffic. Police attempted to funnel the crowd into controlled lanes but were unable to.

Zimmerman, cleared late on Saturday (July 13) by a Florida jury of six women, still faces public outrage, a possible civil suit and demands for a federal investigation.

With civil rights activists clamouring for federal civil rights charges, the U.S. Justice Department said it was evaluating whether it has enough evidence to support prosecution of Zimmerman in federal court after his acquittal in Florida.

Zimmerman's lawyers argued he acted in self-defense the night of February 26, 2012, when, they say, Martin attacked Zimmerman inside a gated community in the central Florida town of Sanford. They accuse civil rights advocates of wrongly injecting the issue of race.

"It's really tough," protester Derek Prince said.

"It seems as if, as all these cases continue to pile up that there is a nationwide devaluation of the black life, the black experience. So to deal with that and to know that you are guilty automatically which you can't change if you wanted to, which I don't it's an adjustment to have to get used to," he added.

Critics contend Zimmerman, 29, who is white and Hispanic, wrongly suspected Martin, 17, of being a criminal because he was black. Zimmerman called police to report a suspicious looking person, then left his car with a fully loaded Kel Tec 9mm pistol concealed in his waistband.

A fight ensued in which Zimmerman suffered a bloody nose and head injuries, and Zimmerman shot Martin once in the heart.

The acquittal will weaken any wrongful death civil lawsuit that Martin's family might bring. Zimmerman's lead defence lawyer, Mark O'Mara, predicted Zimmerman would seek and win immunity from a civil suit.

Presented by Adam Justice

Read more: