George Zimmerman charges cause social media eruption, reaction and opinions in Trayvon Martin case

Social media continues to play a large role in shaping public opinion on George Zimmerman's arrest.

WPTV's web and social media team has seen an enormous amount of reaction on the station's homepage, Facebook page and Twitter account.

Dozens of comments were deleted due to foul language.

Many comments that remain on the page contain opinions about Florida's Stand Your Ground law and race relations.

Zimmerman is the neighborhood watch captain who shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford on February 26th.

Zimmerman claims the shooting was self-defense.

Grabbing a coffee at the Dunkin Donuts on Dixie HIghway and Monroe Drive in West Palm Beach, Bob Patterson said he's not surprised by the reaction.

"It's very indicative of the times," Patterson said. "It puts the press in a tough situation because they really need to be on top of their game when they report the facts and not pull pull the knee-jerk reaction that Twitter and these other things do also."

In the weeks after shooting, Martin's parents created an online petition asking for charges to be pressed against Zimmerman.

The petition gathered more than 2 million online signatures.

Zimmerman's first court appearance is scheduled for Thursday afternoon.

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