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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itsanotherday1
48395
Points
itsanotherday1 07/14/13 - 04:33 pm
6
0
Bulloney!

"If the races were reversed, the black stalker would have been in jail from the start and the Zimmerman supporters on this site would be screaming for the death penalty."

The evidence strongly supported Zimmerman's account of things. I wager 90% of the people who are calling the result unjust paid no attention to the evidence presented in the case. They are still bopping along all mad because Zimmerman hunted down, attacked and shot an unarmed child. There is NO evidence of that at all, but that was how it was initially presented and sold by major media.
As a matter of fact, I was on the crucify Zimmerman bandwagon when it first broke; but then I started paying attention to the facts coming out and applied some common sense.

itsanotherday1
48395
Points
itsanotherday1 07/14/13 - 05:06 pm
4
0
@palmetto

"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."

My take on it is they will try, just to pacify the angry.

I thought the RK case was probably justified, as it was clear that excessive force/ brutality was employed, and demeaning, abusive racial language used.
The only reason those cops weren't convicted in Simi Valley was that the DA overreached on the charges (attempted murder) and the jury rightly acquitted them of that. If they had any idea of killing him, they easily could have. What they did was dispense some pre-arrest cop justice because he ran and resisted; which should have carried a charge of whatever police brutality calls for. They deserved to be convicted of that and fired from the force. Had the DA done their job, there would have been no riots. That is what happens when DA's succumb to political pressure and overreach.

Darby
29441
Points
Darby 07/14/13 - 05:12 pm
7
2
"We charged what we believed we could

prove,” Corey said."
.
And we covered up any evidence we thought might help Zimmerman. (She should have said.)

"And they accused investigators of dragging their feet because Martin was a black teenager."
.
And if he had been killed by another black teenager, then what would have been their reason for "dragging their feet"?

"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 yet, the only racial profiling proven at trail was of Zimmerman, by Trayvon Martin. And by a prosecution witness no less.

"Zimmerman had cuts and scrapes on his face and the back of his head, but prosecutors suggested the injuries were not serious."

.
Yeah, Zimmerman should have just let Martin keep beating his head on the concrete. He would have gotten tired and quit sooner or later, gone home with his Skittles and tea and everyone would have been happy.

I noticed this biased bit of reporting came from AP. It was an Associated Press reporter, Cristina Silva, who tweeted this out from her verified Twitter account:

"So we can all kill teenagers now? Just checking."

The press in this country has become despicable and disgusting.

Darby
29441
Points
Darby 07/14/13 - 05:21 pm
6
2
And one more thing...

I wish people would stop referring to Trayvon Martin as having been "unarmed".

He was bigger, stronger and faster than Zimmerman. You could easily fill the seats of Sanford Stadium with the bodies of people killed with bare fists alone.

He was NOT unarmed. On the other hand, he obviously thought that Zimmerman was defenseless.

Darby
29441
Points
Darby 07/14/13 - 05:33 pm
5
2
"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."

.
Bod - that's funny, you should write comedy scripts, or maybe science fiction. Great imagination!

KSL
144449
Points
KSL 07/14/13 - 05:47 pm
2
1
So right about the tray not

So right about the tray not being "unarmed." My oldest son was fortunate enough to be able to take Karate from a real teacher of the physical and mental tradition when he was a junior in high school. He learned his knowlege without a weapon could be considered a weapon. He learned when and when not to use his knowledge. When he wasin college at USC, 3 guys tried to jump him when he was exiting an establishment in 5 points. He quickly dispatched one. The others fled like the true cowards that they really were. These days they would probably have pulled out an illegally owned gun.

KSL
144449
Points
KSL 07/14/13 - 05:49 pm
2
1
Dang, I forgot to ask the

Dang, I forgot to ask the races involved.

KSL
144449
Points
KSL 07/14/13 - 06:01 pm
2
1
Oh,,,,, there was another

Oh,,,,, there was another incident. A scumbag pulled a knife on him and son broke his arm with his skills. Saved his own life. That also occurred at 5 Points in COLA. Thank God for the training he had we never knew he needed, but paid for him to have.

KSL
144449
Points
KSL 07/14/13 - 06:01 pm
1
1
Oh,,,,, there was another

Oh,,,,, there was another incident. A scumbag pulled a knife on him and son broke his arm with his skills. Saved his own life. That also occurred at 5 Points in COLA. Thank God for the training he had we never knew he needed, but paid for him to have.

rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 07/14/13 - 06:09 pm
0
0
I'm certain
Unpublished

that I know as many of the facts about what transpired between Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman as all of the people commenting nationwide- zilch. Idiot black "athletes" making racial comments and the new black panther punks calling for riots and "da hood" taking care of Mr. Zimmerman shows the total lack of maturity in the black community. You, blacks, danced in the streets when o.j. "the slasher" simpson slaughtered 2 white people and was acquitted of premeditated murder. My respect for their actions is zero. With heros the likes of marion berry, jesse jackson jr. and his wife, race baiter al sharpton, the right reverend wright, jesse jackson sr., the ever above board charlie rangel, you uppity black and criminally inclined college and pro sports stars have no respect from this corner. You just justify the fact that I'm a racist. I don't take pride in it but you have left me little choice.

KSL
144449
Points
KSL 07/14/13 - 06:16 pm
3
0
These were white people, just

These were white people, just in case that matters to some on here.

Think Deeper
46
Points
Think Deeper 07/14/13 - 08:08 pm
3
6
People of No Conscious

For all the people who feel terrible about what happened to Trayvon and BELIEVE that George Zimmerman got off in this so called trial of his peers, remember we come from a people who actually fear God. It's amazing that we all listened to what was presented in the trial but some of these people who believe George was justly acquitted seems to cherry pick what is evidence. Many in the Black community believe that Trayvon did not START the fight. You see what some of you refuse to accept is what Rachel said at the trial. She told the jury that Trayvon told a heavy breathing man to "Get Off, Get Off. But what some of you continue to believe is that Trayvon was the person who threw the first punch. The fact that you (AND THAT DIVERSE JURY) minimizes what Rachel says clearly demonstrates that you will accept what is stated from others (Zimmerman, in particular) but not her and why? The fact that you will accept the word of a killer versus a black female with no criminal record is telling. The only thing that many of you accept from her is that "cracker word" to wash Trayvon's face with but you conveniently forget the Get Off Get Off words. Perhaps that makes you a hypocrite if you had a conscious. Zimmerman has been charged with criminal violations multiple times prior to this situation and figured out a way to still walk around with a gun. He attacked a cop and a female and now he has killed a teenager. Research clearly shows that the judicial system is not fair to black males and now we have a wannabe cop come before the world and says he WAS attacked and the only person to dispute or confirm his allegation has been killed. But what do most of you do? You take his word for it when he has ALREADY been shown by his PREVIOUS criminal history to be violent. I guess that's why the homeowners association at the apartment complex had to pay a settlement to Trayvon's parent because they SELECTED or ALLOWED Zimmerman to serve as the Neighborhood Watch leader. How interesting! Now what does that have to do with this case you would say? Well the best indicator of present and future conduct is past conduct. Zimmerman knew from being a neighborhood watch that he was not supposed to engage Trayvon regardless of whether Trayvon was running from him or running to get HOME to watch the basketball game. He was not supposed to confront Trayvon point blank in his capacity as Neighborhood Watch. Still yet, Zimmerman made a mistake when he failed to introduce himself as Neighborhood Watch to Trayvon when he confronted him (remember Rachel says what was stated by the both of them) but no according to Rachel, Zimmerman grabbed him forcing Trayvon to yell Get Off Get Off. Many of you are saying that Zimmerman broke no law, although he shot a teenager, but I wonder if the jury consisted of five people who were either black, Asian, Hispanic, or Native American women and one white woman if Zimmerman would be in prison tonight. I just wonder. What do you think? A lot of people believe that the case was lost when the jury was set back in June because there was only one minority on the jury and from some news reporting she had a conscious because she was the lone hold out for manslaughter. I cannot wait for her book to get released if she will even be called upon for such a thing. Also as a side note, how many times in the past have you seen a police investigator line up with the defense. No wonder many in the black community view the police as suspect. Do I hope DOJ will bring a federal case? I pray so because the minority community has received the bulk of its rights and recognitions not by the federal courts in the past with the recent exclusion of the make up of this current Supreme Court. Nevertheless, the Martin family may be able to bring a civil trial against Zimmerman and hit him in the wallet and FORCE him to testify since it is a civil matter and not criminal court matter. In addition, the standards in civil court are easier to establish so he will have to pay up like OJ apparently had to do in civil court. How do you define irony? I will end with this before you make any comments towards me you may want to read Psalm 94 and keep Trayvon's name in your mind and mouth as you read it.

Darby
29441
Points
Darby 07/14/13 - 07:12 pm
3
2
"Many things went wrong long before these

two met, one thing went right, the verdict."

.
You hit the nail on the head with that one...

I'd call your summary the "Readers Digest" version.

Darby
29441
Points
Darby 07/14/13 - 07:23 pm
3
1
"When everyone realizes there is but one

race-the human one we will be much better off."

.
Okay, I can wait for that. How about you? Do you have a millennium or two to spare?

There will never be racial harmony as long as there are liberals/progressives who benefit politically from bigotry and strife.

Darby
29441
Points
Darby 07/14/13 - 07:55 pm
3
0
The real victims in this American tragedy

are the Martins, George Zimmerman and the American public, in that order.

I don't see Trayvon Martin as a victim at all.

Although many steps led to the final act in this drama, the one taken by Trayvon Martin in unnecessarily confronting a man he did not know, in the dark night, without knowledge of the facts led inexorably to his death.

Certainly Zimmerman followed Martin. Given the crime rate in his community, he had every right to. Knowing what he knows now, the agitated state of his young antagonist, he would probably have made different choices.

Had I been in his place, I'd have almost certainly had my hand on my weapon the moment I was confronted.

If Zimmerman had done that, perhaps Trayvon would have backed off and would be alive today. Who knows? I (and you) do know that had he gone home and ignored Zimmerman, his family would not be grieving now.

Casting_Fool
1175
Points
Casting_Fool 07/14/13 - 07:50 pm
0
4
It's my personal belief that

It's my personal belief that someone has the attack recorded in a cell phone video. I mean, nearly everyone has a cell phone, and some have this bizarre compulsion to record everything in the hope that they'll become a YouTube sensation.

Which raises several questions. If there's a video, has it been repressed, and why?

Just saying. Should be interesting should a video surface.

Pops
14661
Points
Pops 07/14/13 - 07:57 pm
4
1
I have seen all the internet

photos and twitter postings of the child Trayvon. Just reading all that crap it would appear that sooner or later he would have been involved in a situation with some of his homies that would have resulted in someone getting kilt.

AutumnLeaves
10341
Points
AutumnLeaves 07/14/13 - 08:35 pm
3
2
Hispanic does not refer to

Hispanic does not refer to race, it refers to cultural origin. There are Hispanics of many races. But I don't consider Zimmerman Caucasian. He is mixed race. So am I. So is President Obama. And if we checked the DNA on everyone, we'd find out that nearly everyone is mixed race, I suspect. Again, this trial was NOT about race. But the media sure wanted us to think it was. Why? For sensationalism, that's why.

scoopdedoop64
2508
Points
scoopdedoop64 07/14/13 - 08:37 pm
2
1
What is expected

Constantly I am seeing black young men being arrested and booked on crimes. Yes, white people do crimes to but overwhelmingly it is the crime element that has so ingrained itself within the black culture that they expect white people to just sit back and take their beating without being able to protect themselves.
Consider the white couple that got beat up at the Riverwalk. They were beat by young black men with baseball bats. Yet if the white man had had a pistol and shot one of the those black men then he would have been arrested and put through the same thing as Zimmerman. Personally, I believe we all profile people if we are honest about it. It's really not about race; its about hatred in peoples hearts and until their hearts are right we are going to continue to have these issues pop up.

myfather15
57204
Points
myfather15 07/14/13 - 08:50 pm
2
2
Think deeper

It's quite obvious, you don't do as your name indicates!! There was so much evidence presented at trial, which contradicts MOST of what you are saying; it's too long to list. You've also twisted the trusth of Zimmerman's criminal past to suit your agenda!!

Rachel got caught lying and changing her story so many times; it would be hard for ANYONE with rational logic to believe a word she says!! EXCEPT YOU!!! You want to pronounce her as a SAINT, who is incapable of lying!! The defense twisted her lying, inside out!! She looked absolutely ridiculous and EVERYONE knew it, including her; thats why she got upset on the stand!!

You do realize the prosecution has equal say in WHO the jury consists of, right? Obviously, the prosecution agreed on the jury and pronounced themselve "Ready for trial". But I suppose YOU and YOUR opinion is much more important than the prosecuting attorney's.

Lastly, please learn to utilize paragraphs. It's makes for a much easier read, especially when the comment is long!! Honestly, I'm not trying to demean you, just giving some advice!! Paragraphs are nice!!

myfather15
57204
Points
myfather15 07/14/13 - 08:52 pm
2
0
scoopdedoop

hhhhhuuussssh!! That's not politically correct sir!!! You should be ashamed!!

fedex227
11187
Points
fedex227 07/14/13 - 09:01 pm
2
1
Just weighing in one last time ...
Unpublished

When I posted that this incident would not have happened but for the actions of Mr. Zimmerman and the instructions he was given, I wasn't referring to the 911 dispatcher. I was referring to Wendy Dorival's testimony (I got suckered in to watching the trial for long periods of time too-damn.) As the police official that helped that community set up their neighborhood watch program (meetings that Mr. Zimmerman attended), the three main points she stressed both verbally and in written pamphlets were: 1) following suspects was the job of law enforcement. 2) Never confront an individual, let the police do their job. 3) Do not patrol the community while armed.

My only point was that this didn't really need to happen if only Mr. Zimmerman had done what police officials instruct all neighborhood watch communities in Sanford to do. Perhaps Myfather15 can weigh-in on this. From what I've read from the national neighborhood watch organization, there is not a single law enforcement agency that advises neighborhood watch citizens to arms themselves before patrolling their community. I may be wrong.

Think Deeper
46
Points
Think Deeper 07/14/13 - 09:22 pm
2
3
Somebody Father15

Since you failed to give me the long list of evidence because it was to much to list let me address Rachel again since you failed to do so. Most of the comments on this section and others mention Rachel as being a liar but are quick to take the cracker language she mentioned and say that makes Trayvon a racist. Rachel lied to Trayvon's parents about attending the funeral service but tell me one thing that is crucial that she lied about that goes to the essence or merit of the trial and I'll tell you two or more significant things that Zimmerman fibbed about.

(Sorry about not paragraphing in my previous section)
Why do you think it was so adamant that the defense did a Batson challenge when the state tried to get rid of all those white women on the jury? The defense realized that that jury needed to look as lily white and from the upper class as possible. Now why would I say that? Because they did not want to fight the state on the merits of what happened to Trayvon they just needed to get a jury of mainly white folks who did not identify with Trayvon or Rachel and let things proceed from there. What is my proof of that? Well the DOJ bringing a civil rights charge is not double jeopardy especially for those of us who actually paid attention in civics classes. So no one should be offended by seeking the truth, especially, when the constitution is equipped for the feds to do what they are about to do here in Dixie.

In a federal prosecution you don't have to worry about those Southern good old boy tricks because the federal attorneys and the defense will be playing with a larger jury pool from all over Florida and that includes more than just Seminole County, in essence you get more minorities on the trial. So if you think the nearly 19 hours of deliberation was long just wait until you see the federal trial that will have more minorities included. If I lost you in anything that I am saying well simply put he is going to prison after a federal trial. If you wonder how I can say this with so much audacity. Well you don't know Psalm 94.

Darby
29441
Points
Darby 07/14/13 - 11:42 pm
2
1
"If I lost you in anything that I am saying

well simply put he is going to prison after a federal trial."

.
And this is where I lose you. Mark my words, there WILL NOT be a federal trial. Obama and crew are ruthless and not all that bright, but they (including the lackey Holder) are smart enough to know that they can't produce evidence where there is none.

Particularly a year and a half after the event. There would be far too much of an electronic and paper trail to fake.

Zimmerman was found not guilty because HE IS NOT GUILTY. Period, end of sentence. You just aren't thinking deep enough. Political correctness will not take precedence this time.

Other than the fact that the Martin's may attempt to file a civil suit, IT'S OVER!

No Southern good old boy tricks and no Chicago style thuggery either.

BTW - Zimmerman's attorney, James Beasley, is a Philadelphia lawyer. Guess he learned his Southern good old boy tricks in SOUTH Philly.

seenitB4
98428
Points
seenitB4 07/15/13 - 05:15 am
2
0
TV NEWS MEDIA

I'm ready for the next event--throw it in the arena..

waiting---waiting--waiting...

InChristLove
22485
Points
InChristLove 07/15/13 - 05:37 am
2
0
Think Deeper, maybe you will

Think Deeper, maybe you will be the one who answers my questions since I've asked twice and no one can or seems to be able to answer them.

Where was Trayvon during the 4 long minutes from the time he told Rachel he was running and the time the altercation between him and Zimmerman started. This is a 6' tall 17 year old running. If you will look at the diagram of the area in question, it is quit apparent that Trayvon could have been back to the apartment he was staying or visiting (I'm guessing here) in less than 2 minutes.

Another question is if Trayvon left out of the apartment to go get skittles (I'm again assuming) before 7pm, why did it take until 8:39am the next morning for his father to report him missing? Was he not the concerned father he's portraying now when his son did not return home by 9pm or 10pm that night?

Again, you bring of Zimmerman's past? Seriously? What about Trayvon's past?

internationallyunknown
5048
Points
internationallyunknown 07/15/13 - 09:46 am
3
0
God is in your heart

Irony: most of us love God. most of us say we serve the same God. Yet, my God tells me this situation was not right....and others feel the total opposite....but we all serve the same God...right?

Darby
29441
Points
Darby 07/15/13 - 10:18 am
2
2
"Yet, my God tells me this situation was not

right....and others feel the total opposite...."

.
It's really great that your God speaks directly to you. I can't get MY God to do that. No voice in the night, no email, no Skype, not even a phone call. Nothing like that.

Seems my God wants me to use my free will and common sense.

And using those tools, I have come to the inescapable conclusion that Trayvon Martin provoked an unnecessary, senseless and gratuitous confrontation that led to his unfortunate death.

Had he acted prudently and rationally he would still be alive today and we'd be talking about the latest Obama attempt to circumvent the Constitution. Or Bengazi, or NSA or "Fast and Furious" or any one of so many other outrages and internal assaults on American integrity.

Once again, those in power are profiting from a "crisis". They are not going to let this one "go to waste."

InChristLove
22485
Points
InChristLove 07/15/13 - 11:35 am
2
2
"Yet, my God tells me this

"Yet, my God tells me this situation was not right....and others feel the total opposite....but we all serve the same God...right?"

Because we live in a sinful world...either A) you are allowing your own personal feelings to get in the way and not hearing God correctly or B) God has allow this verdict to occur for reasons beyond our understanding and who are we to tell God He has made a mistake? Unless you think you know better than God.

Darby
29441
Points
Darby 07/15/13 - 04:05 pm
2
0
Look on the bright side, Liberals.....

This verdict has given all your deadbeat, worthless, jobless, tax eating, Occupy Wall Street morons an excuse to get out and get some fresh air and throw a few rocks.

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