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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oldredneckman96
5115
Points
oldredneckman96 07/14/13 - 09:51 am
14
3
Unarmed
Unpublished

Zimmerman did not know Martin was not armed. Martin's parrents could have taught him to have respect for his elders. The legal system could have worked to prevent Zimmerman from having to patrol his nieghborhood. Many things went wrong long before these two met, one thing went right, the verdict.

KSL
144583
Points
KSL 07/14/13 - 09:59 am
9
3
pal

I like your assessment. What I don't like is Obama's attitude. It has become so obvious that he has no clue about the US and our system of government, as set up. Nor do his supporters.

nocnoc
49619
Points
nocnoc 07/14/13 - 10:07 am
7
1
Listen to the initial 911

Listen to the initial 911 call.
Here is the UNEDITED whole call along with transcript.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNCvr9V2pig
jump to 1:50 into it to get past the videographers intro.

The MALE 911 operator said we don't need you to follow,
It was not DON'T FOLLOW.

YOUTUBE IS LOADED WITH COURTROOM CLIPS LIKE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMlhuZMlUTU
Where the DA was caught hiding discovered evidence that would have helped the Zimmerman case.

So much of this trial sinks as an attempted setup, and to use the phrase "A coordinated effort to fix the case."

KSL
144583
Points
KSL 07/14/13 - 10:10 am
5
2
Thanks, noc

For the facts.

KSL
144583
Points
KSL 07/14/13 - 10:24 am
4
2
The DOJ, Now that is a fair

The DOJ,

Now that is a fair group!

KSL
144583
Points
KSL 07/14/13 - 10:35 am
3
3
Or should I say, "That is a

Or should I say, "That is a group we can expect justice from."

CobaltGeorge
176846
Points
CobaltGeorge 07/14/13 - 10:36 am
2
4
The Only Support

that any American's will ever receive from the leader of the "Brotherhood", will be if your a ***** or Muslim.

Shortcomment
1322
Points
Shortcomment 07/14/13 - 10:43 am
7
0
Whether you agree or not

Justice has been done.

Will certain political powers accept the verdict or will they go for more political gains?

The same goes for the agitators that always seem to profit off these problems that they worked feverishly incite.

CobaltGeorge
176846
Points
CobaltGeorge 07/14/13 - 10:46 am
4
3
There Has Been

100's of undisputable actions over the past 4 1/2 years to back up my comment.

internationallyunknown
5068
Points
internationallyunknown 07/14/13 - 10:52 am
2
5
Many of those "lions" were

Many of those "lions" were white, black, and other races. It's not over.....heck, look at OJ.

seenitB4
98535
Points
seenitB4 07/14/13 - 11:13 am
4
1
unknown

(We) All of us are the lions...some just don't realize that yet..we will either make it work "together" or we will all go down the tubes together.

internationallyunknown
5068
Points
internationallyunknown 07/14/13 - 11:32 am
4
4
People are TIRED of being

People are TIRED of being passive. Some people have TRIED to "work together". Where has that got them? So, something has to change...

internationallyunknown
5068
Points
internationallyunknown 07/14/13 - 11:37 am
6
3
One thing is for sure

America is def. a divided country now.

CobaltGeorge
176846
Points
CobaltGeorge 07/14/13 - 11:52 am
5
2
unknown

and just what do you think made "America is def. a divided country now?"

seenitB4
98535
Points
seenitB4 07/14/13 - 11:53 am
4
1
The other side of the story

Please read this...all about crime in a mixed neighborhood in Atlanta...it might give you more understanding to why some people act like Zimmerman.....black & white are totally DISGUSTED..

http://www.ajc.com/news/news/crime-law/residents-crime-perception-based-...

chascushman
6653
Points
chascushman 07/14/13 - 12:02 pm
6
3
"America is def. a divided
Unpublished

"America is def. a divided country now."
That is what the commie in WH has done most of his life. As president he has done more to separate our people than all the other presidents combined.

Bizkit
35749
Points
Bizkit 07/14/13 - 12:09 pm
6
0
Stand your ground laws are in

Stand your ground laws are in both red and blue states-don't try and politicize that. Many states have some form of Stand Your Ground law. Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan,Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire,North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania , Rhode Island,South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, , Wisconsin and Wyoming have adopted Castle Doctrine statutes, and other states (Iowa, Virginia, and Washington) have considered "Stand Your Ground" laws of their own. More than half of the states in the United States have adopted the Castle doctrine, stating that a person has no duty to retreat when their home is attacked. Some states go a step further, removing the duty of retreat from other locations. "Stand Your Ground", "Line In The Sand" or "No Duty To Retreat" laws thus state that a person has no duty or other requirement to abandon a place in which he has a right to be, or to give up ground to an assailant. Under such laws, there is no duty to retreat from anywhere the defender may legally be. Other restrictions may still exist; such as when in public, a person must be carrying firearms in a legal manner, whether concealed or openly.
Now all the Martin family asked was for Zimmerman to be tried in the justice system. Which he was and found innocent by his peers as the State didn't prove their case (most of their witnesses changing their initial testimony probably didn't help and raise reasonable doubt). You knew someone was going to lose so don't be a sorry loser-either way someone is unhappy with the outcome. I wonder if that man who wasn't initially charged with running over the 7 docs and killing one had run over all African-American physicians how that case would have turned out and would it have receive this notoriety? This is the "Justice System" -The Good, Bad, and Ugly. It ain't perfect and it dang sho ain't blind. Just a sad story for both families as Zimmerman will be a pariah the rest of his life. So both Martin and Zimmerman really have lost their lives-just Zimmerman will suffer a slow death and be reminded of this the rest of his life-well unless some vigilante tries something. Taking a life under any circumstance isn't pleasant nor easy to psychologically digest-hence all the vets with mental issues. Sad story because neither families will ever be the same.

chascushman
6653
Points
chascushman 07/14/13 - 12:06 pm
3
5
"Some people have TRIED to
Unpublished

"Some people have TRIED to "work together"."
I guess you are not talking about race baiters like Sharpen, Jackson, Pitts and special rights groups like the NAACP.

CobaltGeorge
176846
Points
CobaltGeorge 07/14/13 - 12:21 pm
2
5
Backing Up My 11:36 & 11:46

$1.2 Billion given to black farmers.

This is kind of an old story but it kind of slipped under the radar and I am bringing the issue back to life.

Dept. of Agriculture

Through the Department of Agriculture, President Obama's administration authorized the use of $1.2 Billion of our tax money to go to black farmers as payback for years (decades) of discrimination. (Fox News, Nov 2010)

Affirmative Action

The Agriculture Department said that this was necessary in "addressing an unfortunate chapter in USDA's civil rights history."

Judge Approved This

In October 2011, a judge gave the government approval. (Huffington Post)

"This agreement will provide overdue relief and justice to African American farmers, and bring us closer to the ideals of freedom and equality that this country was founded on," Obama said in a statement.

Bypassing Congress

Obama is bypassing congress through the Departments so that he can enact policy and spend money. It is a power grab. Not only that, the judge that approved this allowed for reverse discrimination -- money given to people of only one ethnic background

seenitB4
98535
Points
seenitB4 07/14/13 - 12:24 pm
9
2
Tired of being passive ?

THAT is exactly what the majority whites are saying....now most of my family & friends are saying ...passive & working together doesn't work....we will PROTECT our family & business at all costs....we have tried passive--look the other way--stay calm---there is a reason more people are buying guns.....people are SICK to death of CRIME ....sick of not feeling safe in their very own area of the world....

The article SPEAKS volumes...I wouldn't live in that area if someone GAVE me a house.....threats of riots will NOT work....the tipping point is here....that is why I said either together or we all sink.

I have enough news today from here anyway...see yall.

Bizkit
35749
Points
Bizkit 07/14/13 - 12:28 pm
5
0
No this isn't the end of this

No this isn't the end of this case with a new civil suit but really Zimmerman has been tried and convicted as a pariah by public opinion and will be sentenced to being shunned by society. He didn't really win cause he will still be in a "prison" of public scrutiny-he would probably have faired better to spend some time in a real prison. Maybe then people would have their pound of flesh.

Dixieman
17584
Points
Dixieman 07/14/13 - 01:20 pm
4
3
Dixieman sez here are the next steps:

1. Civil suit just like OJ brought by Mr. Martin's family.
2. Eric Holder's corrupt DOJ will file Federal criminal charges for deprivation of civil right against Mr. Zimmerman (just like the California cops who were acquitted in state court and then jailed on such a trumped-up Fed charge) with O's blessing. This will be based solely on politics and campaign contributions
3. Mr. Zimmerman will write a book with the assistance of a ghostwriter and it will be a bestseller.
4. Mr. Zimmerman will appear on Fox.
5. American society will continue its accelerating slide into barbarity, totalitarian government by O and helplessness despite the justice of the verdict.

KSL
144583
Points
KSL 07/14/13 - 01:19 pm
3
3
Well let's see

Had Zimmerman been part black Hispanic, What would the comments be like? Maybe no nation-wide news?

Bizkit
35749
Points
Bizkit 07/14/13 - 01:35 pm
1
0
Cobalt it's all about "social

Cobalt it's all about "social justice". Sadly "social justice" from it's original religious intent (St. Thomas Aquinas) to secular intent with John Rawls has morphed into something altogether different. We will soon have a long list of issues to address: African-americans because of slavery, Native Americans because we wiped out 90% and screwed the rest, Chinese for abuse during building of railroads, Europeans who were indentured servants or slaves, how about women the last to receive the right to vote and other abuses, gosh who am I forgetting. We'll go broke righting wrongs. Of course we could take Clinton's strategy of "What difference does it make now and let's just move on from here to correct the problems". Funny ain't it.

Bizkit
35749
Points
Bizkit 07/14/13 - 01:53 pm
3
0
KSL we all know people are

KSL we all know people are discriminating against "Zimmerman" because he is Jewish. LOL. Because no one would discriminate against another minority like Hispanics.

Bizkit
35749
Points
Bizkit 07/14/13 - 03:08 pm
2
3
I don't know why people are

I don't know why people are upset. I was just reading how there are protest against Zimmerman from NY to California. Zimmerman has actually received a public "death sentence" so he has no victory. I wager there are vigilante groups that would support a good lynching. Social Justice-black vigilantes drag Zimmerman into the streets for a good lynching-Al Sharpton will lead the festivities. Well riddle me this-if all these groups are protesting for justice for Travon-what do think they have in mind for justice? I guess that is harsh insinuating they would kill him as I realize a civil suit and suing Zimmerman does equate to justice-I wonder what this poor boy's life is worth? Now that is harsh!!!!!!! Sad story-no good end to it.

reba530
65
Points
reba530 07/14/13 - 02:59 pm
1
1
YAH FINALLY AN INNOCENT MAN
Unpublished

YAH FINALLY AN INNOCENT MAN WALKS FREE. ABOUT TIME. WHERE WAS THE STUPID IGNORANT NAACP WHEN THAT THUG SHOT THAT WHITE BABY IN THE FACE. YEAH NOBODY TALKS ABOUT THAT. THEY ARE TRYING TO PROSECUTE ZIMMERMAN FOR SOMETHING HE DID NOT DO. IT WAS SELF DEFENSE. HAD IT BEEN A WHITE MAN GETTING SHOT AND KILLED OH NO YOU WOULD NOT HEAR ONE WORD ABOUT THAT. THATS WHAT WRONG WITH THESE IGNORANT PEOPLE THEY THINK THEY ARE ABOVE THE LAW AND THEY ARE NOT

Bizkit
35749
Points
Bizkit 07/14/13 - 03:12 pm
2
2
I am just glad white folks

I am just glad white folks weren't involved in this incident so they would be accused of racism. But we all know racism is pretty much dead in white folks-yeah there are a few vestiges but mostly people are educated to the fact there is no race. However, sadly African-americans and Hispanics have a real issue with this problem from this incident.

Bizkit
35749
Points
Bizkit 07/14/13 - 03:17 pm
3
1
I just which it would quit

I just which it would quit raining so I can go outside and work in my garden. I've beat this dog and stirred this stew long enough=harsh rhetoric. It's pathological the fixation with "race" some folks have-which by definition makes them racist. When everyone realizes there is but one race-the human one we will be much better off.

itsanotherday1
48414
Points
itsanotherday1 07/14/13 - 04:22 pm
1
0
IU

"The "law" is the problem!"

Then work to change it; don't put a man behind bars who followed the law just because you feel the victim needs justice.

That is the insane "somebody gotta pay!" nonsense so many spout when things go wrong for them. Sometimes bad things happen and this was one of those times. As I said, sad for all involved.

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