Trayvon Martin's cousin: 'My heart just sank'

TACOMA, Wash. -- The George Zimmerman acquittal sparked a national debate, and local members of Trayvon Martin's family are now trying to grasp how justice was served in the case.

Saturday's verdict was heartbreaking for Trayvon's 19-year-old cousin Cedric President-Turner. Cedric doesn't believe the legal system is broken, but he said it failed his family.

Cedric comes to Chambers Bay whenever he needs to clear his head, but that's been hard to do since Saturday.

"My heart just sank because he will never be able to be tried again," Cedric said of the controversial verdict.

Cedric and Trayvon were only distant cousins, but he said the two stayed close when Cedric's family moved to Tacoma.

"I would see Trayvon from time to time. We rode dirt bikes together," Cedric said. "I knew he wanted to be an aviation person, once he grew up. He loved planes."

Cedric said his cousin's chance for justice was doomed from the start. He believes police profiled Trayvon as a menace and immediately took Zimmerman's side.

"From the get-go, they did not take all the necessary steps to gather all the evidence and to put all the pieces together," he said. "It was just as if they took his word for it and that was it."

Plenty of others agree with that assessment, and many outraged demonstrators took to the streets in Seattle and other cities across the country to voice their concern.

Many in the crowd, including Cedric, say the jury's verdict reflects the lingering racism in America.

"I believe there's a huge, huge hill to climb because you have to reverse America's history to get at the root of some of these things," Cedric said.

At just 19-years old, Cedric isn't sure what it will take to arrive at racial equality, but he hasn't lost all hope.

"I believe there is good cops and good people out there who are in the justice system, and so therefore I still have faith in it," he said.

Cedric said he supports the idea of pursuing the shooting as a federal civil rights investigation, but he said it will be up to Trayvon's parents to decide.