George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who triggered a national debate about race after shooting an unarmed black teenager named Trayvon Martin, was found not guilty Saturday night.

The verdict puts an end to a trial that dominated news headlines and was carried live on most of the cable news networks.

The White House in recent days had been questioned about whether it was concerned violence could break out in the wake of an innocent verdict for Zimmerman. Press secretary Jay Carney avoided directly commenting on the possible verdict and any security precautions.

Zimmerman’s shooting of Martin became a major political story in 2012 in the early stages of the presidential race.

Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) also came to the floor wearing a hoodie similar to the one Martin was wearing when he was killed.