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Zimmerman Trial: Outside the courtroom

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Updated: 7/11/2013 9:31 pm
SANFORD, Fla. -- The George Zimmerman case could be in the hands of a jury by Friday.

When the jurors do get the case, they'll have three charges from which to choose: second-degree murder, manslaughter or acquittal.  That lesser charge of manslaughter gives them a middle-of-the road option, if they feel Zimmerman doesn't deserve to walk, but doesn't necessarily deserve a murder conviction.

The prosecution wrapped its closing arguments Thursday.  Friday, the defense will do its closing.

Outside the courtroom, there was more drama.  First, police say a bomb threat was called in to the Seminole County Civil Courthouse around 10:30 a.m.  The building had to be evacuated.  Police say it turned out to be a hoax, and after a couple of hours, it was back in business.  Investigators are now trying to figure out if that caller was really hoping to cause trouble at the Seminole County Criminal Courthouse, a few miles away, where Zimmerman is being tried.

That's where the Southern Christian Leadership Conference held a news conference Thursday.  With Jacksonville Pastor R.L. Gundy leading the charge, there was a new call for calm.

He said, "If you decide that you don't like the outcome of this trial, if you decide that you want to protest, do it peacefully."

The SCLC also called for a new investigation into Zimmerman.  Gundy said the SCLC will be asking the Department of Justice to look into whether Zimmerman violated Trayvon Martin's civil rights by racially profiling him.

Gundy said, "Trayvon Martin should have a civil right to walk down the street on a sidewalk without being racially profiled."

[Related story: Jury dismissed for the day; defense begins closing arguments Friday]

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