NEWARK - Demonstrators from across the country are protesting a jury's decision to clear George Zimmerman in the 2012 shooting death of an unarmed black teenager while the Justice Department considers whether to file criminal civil rights charges.

Rallies on Sunday attracted anywhere from a few dozen people to more than a thousand as demonstrators voiced their support for 17-year-old Trayvon Martin's family - and decried Zimmerman's not guilty verdict as a miscarriage of justice.

A peaceful protest was held in Newark following the acquittal announcement. Organizers say the outdoor protest staged yesterday drew a diverse crowd unhappy with a Florida jury's decision. There was a large police presence and a stretch of nearby roadway was briefly closed for the event.

Hundreds of people gathered in Manhattan's Times Square yesterday to protest the Florida verdict. The protesters first gathered in Union Square for a rally dubbed "Hoodies Up for Trayvon." The marchers then zigzagged their way to Times Square where they thronged the busy intersection and blocked traffic for more than an hour before moving on.

The NAACP and protesters are calling for federal civil rights charges against Zimmerman. The Justice Department says it is looking into the case to determine whether federal prosecutors should file criminal civil rights charges now that Zimmerman has been acquitted in the state case.

AP wire services contributed to this report.