Attorney: Things would have been different if Zimmerman was blac

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Attorney: Things would have been different if Zimmerman was black

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(CBS) - One of George Zimmerman's attorneys said that if his client was black, he would have never been charged with a crime.

Mark O'Mara -- the co-attorney for the neighborhood watch volunteer who was charged and then later acquitted Saturday night in the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin -- spoke at a news conference following the jury's verdict.

"I think that things would have been different if George Zimmerman was black for this reason. He never would have been charged with a crime," he said.

"It seems as though what happened was an event that was being looked into by Sanford Police Department and quite honestly -- as we now know -- looked into quite well. I have taken advantage of police departments who have not done a good investigation of crimes because that's what I do for a living. When I looked at the Sanford Police Department investigation, they had done quite a good job, and you can compare what they did across the country to see who does good or bad jobs with their investigation, but they were doing quite a lot."

"What happened was," O' Mara continued, "this became a focus for a civil rights event, which again is a wonderful event to have. But they decide that George Zimmerman would be the person who they were to blame and sort of use as the creation of a civil rights violation -- none of which was borne out by the facts. The facts that night was not borne out that he acted in a racial way.

O'Mara went on to say if people would have taken the time to find out who they were condemning, "it would never have happened. And it certainly wouldn't have happened if he was black because those people who decided that they were going to make him the scapegoat would not have."

A jury of six women found Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder. He was also found not guilty of the lesser offense of manslaughter, which the jury also weighed.

O'Mara also said his client is aware he has to be cautious and protective of his safety.

"There still is a fringe element that wants revenge," O'Mara said. "They won't listen to a verdict of not guilty."

© 2013 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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