STUART, Fla. -- Backlash from the not-guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman trial is reaching the Treasure Coast.
Dennis Root, a former Martin County Sheriff's Deputy, and owner of his own private investigation firm, was selected to testify during the trial as a use of force expert. He spent more than 20 years in law enforcement.
Root says he was handed all of the evidence in the trial to review, and from it, he says he determined that Zimmerman was using self-defense.
Now, he's learning many people disagree and are not shy to let him know.
Root says he has received hundreds of emails, many of which support his testimony. But he's also received dozens of emails from people who are disappointed in how he testified. He says he's also had numerous death threats.
Root says regardless of the backlash, he's confident that he told the truth by simply stating the facts.
"I try to look at the event from every single perspective," Root said.
He contacted the defense when he said he realized he could be helpful to the case.
"I saw an opportunity that I could use my skills and become involved with something that might benefit someone else," Root explained.
Root says he remained neutral when looking into the evidence, but his research favored Zimmerman's self-defense stance.
"Based on where he found himself, and the perception he had at the time he pulled his firearm and discharged it, I believe that he was in fear for his life."
Jurors also believed he feared for his life. "I think the verdict was exactly the way it should be. I think the jury did a fantastic job of evaluating the evidence."
Root says the prosecution argued that he wanted to be involved with the trial to publicize his business. Root says he simply wanted to help tell the truth. "I know when I wake up in the morning and look in the mirror I told the truth," said Root.
Root says he has received more calls to his business nationwide, but stresses that was not his intention. He says he was also not paid to testify.
Root has also used his use of force knowledge to start his own safety training organization in Martin County called C.A.T. With the organization, he gives free self defense training to children and their families. He will be holding a training session on Saturday.