Zimmerman acquitted in Trayvon Martin death

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SANFORD, Fla. — Neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman was cleared of all charges Saturday in the shooting of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teenager whose killing unleashed furious debate across the U.S. over racial profiling, self-defense and equal justice.

Zimmerman, 29, blinked and barely smiled when the verdict was announced. He could have been convicted of second-degree murder or manslaughter. But the jury of six women, all but one of them white, reached a verdict of not guilty after deliberating well into the night Saturday. The jurors considered nearly three weeks of often wildly conflicting testimony over who was the aggressor on the rainy night the 17-year-old was shot while walking through the gated townhouse community where he was staying.

Defense attorneys said the case was classic self-defense, claiming Martin knocked Zimmerman down and was slamming the older man’s head against the concrete sidewalk when Zimmerman fired his gun.

Prosecutors called Zimmerman a liar and portrayed him was a “wannabe cop” vigilante who had grown frustrated by break-ins in his neighborhood committed primarily by young black men. Zimmerman assumed Martin was up to no good and took the law into his own hands, prosecutors said.

State Attorney Angela Corey said after the verdict that she believed second-degree murder was the appropriate charge because Zimmerman’s mindset “fit the bill of second-degree murder.”

“We charged what we believed we could prove,” Corey said.

As the verdict drew near, police and city leaders in the Orlando suburb of Sanford and other parts of Florida said they were taking precautions against the possibility of mass protests or unrest in the event of an acquittal.

“There is no party in this case who wants to see any violence,” Seminole County Sheriff Don Eslinger said immediately after jurors began deliberating. “We have an expectation upon this announcement that our community will continue to act peacefully.”

The verdict came a year and a half after civil rights protesters angrily demanded Zimmerman be prosecuted.

Zimmerman wasn’t arrested for 44 days after the Feb. 26, 2012, shooting as police in Sanford insisted that Florida’s Stand Your Ground law on self-defense prohibited them from bringing charges. Florida gives people wide latitude to use deadly force if they fear death or bodily harm.

Martin’s parents, along with civil rights leaders such as the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, argued that Zimmerman – whose father is white and whose mother is Hispanic – had racially profiled their son. And they accused investigators of dragging their feet because Martin was a black teenager.

Before a special prosecutor assigned to the case ordered Zimmerman’s arrest, thousands of protesters gathered in Sanford, Miami, New York and elsewhere, many wearing hoodies like the one Martin had on the night he died. They also carried Skittles and a can of iced tea, items Martin had in his pocket. President Obama weighed in, saying that if he had a son, “he’d look like Trayvon.”

Despite the racially charged nature of the case, race was barely mentioned at the trial. Even after the verdict, prosecutors said race was not about race.

“This case has never been about race or the right to bear arms,” Corey said. “We believe this case all along was about boundaries, and George Zimmerman exceeded those boundaries.”

One exception was the testimony of Rachel Jeantel, the Miami teen who was talking to Martin by phone moments before he was shot. She said he described being followed by a “creepy … cracker” as he walked through the neighborhood.

Jeantel gave some of the trial’s most riveting testimony. She said she overheard Martin demand, “What are you following me for?” and then yell, “Get off! Get off!” before his cellphone went dead.

The jurors had to sort out clashing testimony from 56 witnesses in all, including police, neighbors, friends and family members.

For example, witnesses who got fleeting glimpses of the fight in the darkness gave differing accounts of who was on top. And Martin’s parents and Zimmerman’s parents both claimed that the person heard screaming for help in the background of a neighbor’s 911 call was their son. Numerous other relatives and friends weighed in, too, as the recording was played over and over in court. Zimmerman had cuts and scrapes on his face and the back of his head, but prosecutors suggested the injuries were not serious.

To secure a second-degree murder conviction, prosecutors had to convince the jury that Zimmerman acted with a “depraved” state of mind – that is, with ill will, hatred or spite. Prosecutors said he demonstrated that when he swore while talking about “punks” who “always get away” during a call to police as he watched Martin walk through his neighborhood.

To win a manslaughter conviction, prosecutors had to convince the jury only that Zimmerman killed without lawful justification.

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Bodhisattva
5849
Points
Bodhisattva 07/14/13 - 01:47 am
2
7
On census and demographic

On census and demographic records, listings are usually as hispanic and non-hispanic white.

myfather15
52700
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myfather15 07/14/13 - 01:50 am
5
2
Internationally

Hispanic refers to someone, not of a specific race; but a person from Spain or a prodominantly Spanish speaking Country!! Which Peru would fall under. So, Peruvian isn't a RACE either!! That would notate the Country of origin!! Many caucasian's originate from Peru and many latino/hispanic Countries; I understand that. I believe people knew what I was talking about!!

internationallyunknown
4004
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internationallyunknown 07/14/13 - 01:51 am
3
6
A simple Google search can

A simple Google search can help you out.

"Is Hispanic a race?"

internationallyunknown
4004
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internationallyunknown 07/14/13 - 01:56 am
3
6
Ok

Thanks MF.

Is there a such thing as a white Hispanic? A black Hispanic? Asian Hispanic?

So Obama is a white African American, under your logic.

internationallyunknown
4004
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internationallyunknown 07/14/13 - 02:07 am
2
5
Actually, it's Hispanic or

Actually, it's Hispanic or Non-Hispanic. THEN you would choose Black, White, Asian, Pacific Islander, etc.

Bodhisattva
5849
Points
Bodhisattva 07/14/13 - 02:13 am
2
17
Stand your gound laws ARE the

Stand your gound laws ARE the problem. They allow people, like Zimmeman, who are the instigator of a confrontation and people who go looking for a fight to get a get out of jail free card. All they have to do is harrass, pick on, nag, push the buttons, or whatever to someone they don't like until they can't take it anymore and throw the first punch. Bang, an instant excuse to blow them away all tidy and legal. Maybe you owe them a lot of money. You've got your eyes on the same girl. Whatever the reason, it sure comes in handy. You can have a witness to say the other guy threy the first punch or pull a Zimmerman and make sue there's only one witness. It works either way.

Bodhisattva
5849
Points
Bodhisattva 07/14/13 - 02:17 am
0
7
They use the term

They use the term non-hispanic white. It's not my term or my logic.

corgimom
30077
Points
corgimom 07/14/13 - 03:18 am
4
6
"Is there a such thing as a

"Is there a such thing as a white Hispanic? A black Hispanic? Asian Hispanic?"

Yes! There are many black people that live in South America. Yes, there are white Hispanics, especially from Spain, they have blond hair and blue eyes. And there are also a lot that descended from Germans.

And there are many Americans who are Hispanic, because their ancestors were from the Spanish-speaking countries.

It's a race, not a skin color.

specsta
6261
Points
specsta 07/14/13 - 03:33 am
3
20
Sigh...

This has to be the most disgusting news I've heard in a long time.

Justice has left the building.

Young Fred
16226
Points
Young Fred 07/14/13 - 05:29 am
8
2
Nothing wrong with Stand Your

Nothing wrong with Stand Your Ground laws. No nothing.

Times, are different now. There was a time when someone ticked you off, maybe you smacked them once or twice, they went down, and you walked away, or maybe it was a real slug-fest, but when one went down, the other usually walked away. Today, crazed thugs will knock you down, stomp you, drive your head into the ground, kick, and beat you to a vegetable, if you let them, or can't stop them.

There has been an awful lot of assumptions made by defenders of Martin. They're claiming he was “stalked”, is stalking now defined as following? They're claiming it was dark (I thought it was dusk) and he was scared, and just reacted naturally to defend himself.

That is a possibility. There is another possibility. I mean if we are going to assume.

Let's assume, we have a young hooded man walking around very slowly in the rain, stopping and looking around at different houses. Any reasonable person would think that was at least slightly suspicious.

Let's assume even more, since those howling for Zimmerman's blood like to assume. Maybe (just an assumption, I have no facts, but assumptions seem to be what most are “grabbing” onto), maybe Martin got really angry, because this person dared to follow him. Maybe he got really angry, and said to himself “I'm going to teach this creepy cracker a lesson and whip his tail”. Maybe once he loosed his rage, it wasn't good enough to merely knock Zimmerman to the ground, but maybe his pent up rage made him relentlessly pound Zimmerman in the head while stradling him.

Maybe.

And maybe Zimmerman feared for his life.

Maybe.

But these are ALL maybe's. Maybe's and assumptions aren't SUPPOSED to mean much in a court of law. It sure sounds like some wish “guilty beyond a reasonable doubt” should be changed to some other standard.

CobaltGeorge
153183
Points
CobaltGeorge 07/14/13 - 06:53 am
17
1
Good Morning "IT's OVER" America.

I will make just one comment.

Thank God for having 6 True Americans who used Evidence & Common Sense instead of Fear & Hate.

KSL
124782
Points
KSL 07/14/13 - 07:05 am
12
4
CG

Maybe there is hope for this country.

Riverman1
81336
Points
Riverman1 07/14/13 - 07:14 am
13
2
The Good

The good that came out of it. Maybe some will think hard before deciding to beat others up. That person they decide to use their fists on may be armed and willing to put a bullet hole in the attacker's left ventricle.

seenitB4
84100
Points
seenitB4 07/14/13 - 07:15 am
10
4
The Lions are quiet now

This week they had their meal......but next week they will be hungry again........a zebra was thrown into the arena & his name was Zimm...just didn't taste just right--kinda salty. Zimm was set free. But I bet the bites taken out of his hide will sting forever.....might even cause his death one day..

I see the winds have changed directions ..slowly but surely it will happen....those who squeal the loudest will be gone to never never land & we will wait for the empire nation to throw us another lamb....I hope it is not another P Deen type though...TOO dang much BUTTER in her hide.

I applaud this jury for doing their JOB!

southern2
5779
Points
southern2 07/14/13 - 07:27 am
8
2
Still waiting from a comment

Still waiting for a comment from the President.

southern2
5779
Points
southern2 07/14/13 - 07:26 am
9
2
No major riots? Guess the DOJ

No major riots? Guess the DOJ hasn't summoned the Revs Sharpton and Jackson to the scene.

nocnoc
40308
Points
nocnoc 07/14/13 - 07:32 am
6
2
Not over yet

I may be a cynic but I haven't forgot the last time something like this happened.

Less many forget
Remember the LEO's that subdued drugged up, drug carrying, convicted felon RK? The only occupant in the car to refuse to be arrested, because he was on 2x paroles at the time.

Remember they were found innocent by a jury that saw the whole video tape and not the 30 second special news room cut that incited millions in to riots?

Remember a Democrat President Named Bill Clinton and his Big Sis AG that had the LEO's that were found innocent, recharged federally and they were convicted?

Remember we are coming into an election year and I would not put anything past the democrat party to re-secure the Black vote that has been jumping ship at 2 to 3% more in recent elections:

To quote one protester and put it in prospective.

Local resident: "I feel Obama needs to get involved"

CobaltGeorge
153183
Points
CobaltGeorge 07/14/13 - 07:38 am
6
5
A Thought In My Mind

I wonder how the Great King SMNCICBHO(M), The Hammer & Sickle man would feel today if he had a son like Trayvon Martin?

“If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon,” Obama continued. “I think [Martin's parents] are right to expect that all of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves and were going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.”

Riverman1
81336
Points
Riverman1 07/14/13 - 07:38 am
9
0
Apoplectic

Al Sharpton last night was apoplectic. He said he and the civil rights leaders had a conference call arranged to decide what to do. He said the DOJ had only suspended their investigation and had never stopped looking at the case as a civil rights violation and would now resume. He also said the civil suits would begin to fly. He probably knows.

nocnoc
40308
Points
nocnoc 07/14/13 - 07:41 am
6
2
To clear up a common issue/mistake that I and others make

HISPANIC

QUOTING WIKI
"The United States is a diverse country, racially and ethnically.[1] Six races are officially recognized: White, American Indian and Alaska Native, Asian, Black or African American, Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, and people of two or more races; a race called "Some other race" is also used in the census and other surveys, but is not official

The United States Census Bureau also classifies Americans as "Hispanic or Latino" and "Not Hispanic or Latino", which identifies Hispanic and Latino Americans as a racially diverse ethnicity that composes the largest minority group in the nation

The Census Bureau defines "Hispanic or Latino origin" thus:
“ For Census 2000, American Community Survey: People who identify with the terms "Hispanic" or "Latino" are those who classify themselves in one of the specific Hispanic or Latino categories listed on the Census 2000 or ACS questionnaire - "Mexican," "Puerto Rican," or "Cuban" - as well as those who indicate that they are "other Spanish, Hispanic, or Latino." Origin can be viewed as the heritage, nationality group, lineage, or country of birth of the person or the person's parents or ancestors before their arrival in the United States. People who identify their origin as Spanish, Hispanic, or Latino may be of any race.”

Because this group is not (nor has it ever been) a race, the largest racial minority in the United States are Black Americans, at 13% of the population.

Take your pick?

InChristLove
22452
Points
InChristLove 07/14/13 - 08:18 am
6
1
I would like for someone to

I would like for someone to explain to me what Trayvon was doing for the 4 minutes that transpired from the time he told his girlfriend on the phone that he was running, Zimmerman lost sight of Trayvon, and the altercation between Zimmerman and Trayvon started.

If he was heading back to his dad's girlfriend's apartment and he started running, how long would it take to get to the apartment, to safety, to an adult, if he feared Zimmerman. Do as the Defense did and set you watch and even run or jog at a slow pace and see just how long 4 minutes is.

And please show me the evidence that says Zimmerman follow Trayvon after the dispatch stated he did not need to follow Trayvon, because I must have missed that part (I was unable to hear all the evidence). How do we know that he wasn't heading back to his truck? That's what he told police and according to the diagram of both of these men's movement it would appear that Zimmerman was heading back to his vehicle. How did Zimmerman follow (or stalk) Trayvon if he told the dispatcher he didn't see where Trayvon had run to, he assumed it was towards the back of the apartment complex.

nocnoc
40308
Points
nocnoc 07/14/13 - 08:43 am
5
0
Example of NOT listening to a 9-1-1 operator

Here in ARC a truck driver hit a bicyclist and fled the scene.

Maybe we need to OPEN RECORDS the 911 recording to see what the 911 operators told several people that followed the guy and collected the info that lead to his arrest?

A 911 Operator is not a LEO.
In fact in ARC a number are only trained call takers lead by the nose by a computer telling them what to say and ask. Which
explains many of the really dumb questions they USE TO ask.

Don't misunderstand me.
We have some great 911 operators here in ARC and I get one on the line once in a while. You quickly recognize them as they are brief to the point and ask basic questions to get a response rolling.

The multi-year rookies are what I have problems with.

Pops
7507
Points
Pops 07/14/13 - 09:21 am
12
0
Watching the "news"

channels this morning, one would almost believe there is a contest to see which network can beat this dead horse the most.

CobaltGeorge
153183
Points
CobaltGeorge 07/14/13 - 09:30 am
8
1
A President Who Doesn't Believe In America's Laws

Zimmerman Not Guilty. Obama Administration Considering Federal Charges

07/13/13

There is a lot of precedent for this.

Even though the cops were acquitted in the Rodney King trial, two of them still faced prison time for Federal crimes. Zimmerman could still face federal charges if Obama wants to.

George Zimmerman may face federal charges. Because in America–while we think you can’t be charged for the same crime twice–there really is double jeopardy, in the form of federal charges. And if you think Barack Obama–who said if he had a son, he would look like Trayvon Martin–hasn’t instructed his Justice Department to consider it, think again.

The other day, reader David Makowsky asked me about this and whether I thought that Eric Holder would go after Zimmerman on federal charges. It’s certainly possible. They could go after him for the nebulous, baloney “crime” of “violating Trayvon Martin’s civil rights.” There is a lot of unfortunate precedent for this.

As I’ve noted on this site, that’s what happened, after April 29, 1992, when four police officers were acquitted by a Simi Valley, California jury in the beating of repeat convicted felon Rodney King, who resisted arrest. Then-President George H.W. Bush, upset over the race riots in South Central Los Angeles, spurred by the verdict, decided to give into the rioters, just like a Stockholm Syndrome afflicted hostage gives into and sympathizes with his captors. And the police officers, already acquitted by a jury of their peers, faced federal charges. Two of the four police officers, Stacey Koon and Laurence Powell, were convicted and sentenced to 30 months in prison.

ARC fan
187
Points
ARC fan 07/14/13 - 09:42 am
11
1
Choices

Trayvon had choices - a) continue walking home b) call 911 and walk to the door/porch of one of the houses c) confront Zimmerman verbally and then wait for the police to arrive d) attach Zimmerman physically.
Obviously he didn't expect Zimmerman to be armed and his decision, not Zimmerman's decison, is what cost him his life.

palmetto1008
9782
Points
palmetto1008 07/14/13 - 09:47 am
14
0
Coulda, shoulda, woulda...a
Unpublished

Coulda, shoulda, woulda...a lot of speculation still persists. Mr. Zimmerman got a fair trial...the jury has spoken. I have enormous compassion for both sides....no winners here.

rmwhitley
5532
Points
rmwhitley 07/14/13 - 09:51 am
0
1
So many of you
Unpublished

formed an opinion based solely on a biased media. None of you were present when the Martin boy was killed. Mr. Zimmerman was exonerated based on facts. The o.j. "the slasher" simpson trial was a sham. That punk scum had more evidence proving he SLAUGHTERED 2 WHITE people than any evidence previously presented in a los angeles case. Mark Furman (sic) having used the N word previously, set a monster free. Blacks, with the help of the new black panther party, will soon riot because as a civilization, they are not civilized, for the most part.

chascushman
6653
Points
chascushman 07/14/13 - 09:54 am
8
2
"He said the DOJ had only
Unpublished

"He said the DOJ had only suspended their investigation and had never stopped looking at the case as a civil rights violation and would now resume."
Riverman, this is far from the end of this. The race baiters will be out stirring up folks. The real objective of the race baiters is get more money from ignorant people. Also when you have a racist as president and AG I'm sure they will find something.

palmetto1008
9782
Points
palmetto1008 07/14/13 - 09:56 am
4
2
There was a smoking gun in
Unpublished

There was a smoking gun in the King case...the video. No video here. The U.S. Justice Dept. will move on, is my bet.

oldfella
620
Points
oldfella 07/14/13 - 09:58 am
3
3
Stand Your Ground is the problem?

Does Chicago have a SYG law? Maybe that's why all those young people are shooting each other on a daily basis out there. I knew there had to be a reason! I'm sure the Liberals will get that evil Conservative law changed.

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