- Obama downplays IRS scandal, blames Obamacare rollout on ‘outdated’ agencies
- Pregnancies decline overall, up among older women
- Pentagon plans to destroy Syrian chemical arms on ship at sea
- Paris Metro issues ‘politeness manual’ to improve passengers’ behavior
- Justin Bieber, crew detained at Australian airport in drug search
- Lee Rigby trial: Muslim who machete-hacked soldier calls it ‘humane’ kill
- GM ending Chevy sales in Europe to focus on Opel and Vauxhall
- Putin’s diplomats to U.S. busted for living high life off $1.5M bilked from Medicaid
- Happy Meal: Couple goes to McDonald’s, leaves with bag packed with cash
- Boehner: It took me 3 to 4 hours to sign up for Obamacare
A relieved George Zimmerman not guilty; verdict stirs emotion across the country
A Florida jury late Saturday cleared George Zimmerman of any criminal charges in the February 2012 shooting of Trayvon Martin, rejecting the state’s case that the neighborhood watch volunteer had stalked and killed the unarmed black teenager.
And now a case that garnered the nation’s attention and ignited a debate over race, profiling and neighborhood watches entered unchartered waters as police in Sanford and across the country braced for the possibility of protests and violence.
The six women jurors deliberated 15 hours over two days before rendering its verdict shortly after 10 p.m. EDT Saturday. The jury rejected prosecutor’s case of second-degree murder, as well as a lesser charge of manslaughter.
Mr. Zimmerman, who argued he acted in self-defense in shooting Martin after the two engaged in a confrontation, barely reacted when the verdict was read then flashed a brief smile as he thanked his attorneys.
Prosecutors called Zimmerman a liar and portrayed him was a vigilante who had grown frustrated by break-ins in his neighborhood committed primarily by young black men. They made no apologies for bringing a second-degree murder charge, even after losing.
“We charged what we believed we could prove,” State Attorney Angela Corey said.
Martin’s death immediately captured national attention and sparked a heated debate over race relations and profiling in the U.S.
As the trial proceeded and the prosecution’s case appeared lackluster at best, fears of a potential backlash have grown.
Civil rights leaders, law enforcement officials and others in the past several days have appealed to the people of Florida and across the nation to remain calm, whatever the verdict.
“If Zimmerman is convicted there should not be inappropriate celebrations because a young man lost his life,” said the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. in a statement released Friday. “And if he is not convicted, we should avoid violence because it will only lead to more tragedies. Self-destruction is not the road to reconstruction.”
In Miami, nearly four hours south of Sanford, police are telling citizens that violence will not be tolerated.
“Riots are not acceptable, and riots are not expected,” said Miami-Dade Police Director J.D. Patterson said earlier this week, speaking from the pulpit of Miami’s Peaceful Zion Missionary Baptist Church, according to Miami’s CBS-4 TV.
Mr. Zimmerman’s family also released a statement earlier this week urging everyone to “pray for justice, pray for peace, pray for our country.”
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Raised in Northern Virginia, David R. Sands received an undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and a master’s degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He worked as a reporter for several Washington-area business publications before joining The Washington Times.
At The Times, Mr. Sands has covered numerous beats, including international trade, banking, politics ...
- SANDS: Shark attack: Miami wins first U.S. Chess League title
- SANDS: Magnus Carlsen's future bright as the new king of chess
- Norway's Magnus Carlsen wins world chess title
- Magnus Carlsen on verge of world chess title with quick win over champion
- SANDS: Carlsen close to chess title as Anand cracks under endgame pressure
Latest Blog Entries
Ben Wolfgang covers the White House for The Washington Times.
Before joining the Times in March 2011, Ben spent four years as a political reporter at the Republican-Herald in Pottsville, Pa.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Obama: Nelson Mandela now 'belongs to the ages'
- Obama lived with Uncle Onyango Obama in the 1980s, White House admits
- Obama calls on bartenders to help sell health care reform
- Obama returns to class warfare as poll numbers plunge
- Obama: 'We're not going back' on Obamacare
Latest Blog Entries
Why such hatred toward America's freedom of religion?
- 'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality: liberal group
- Activists urge Obama to go rogue, sidestep Congress
- PRUDEN: British press horrified as London's new mayor dares to proclaim the truth
- Hack attack: 2 million Facebook, Twitter passwords stolen
- Inside China: Nuclear submarines capable of widespread attack on U.S.
- NAPOLITANO: Pope Francis should be saving souls, not pocketbooks
- Blast of winter weather heads to D.C. area
- GOP launches candidate training: How to talk to women
- Russian diplomats busted bilking $1.5 million from Medicaid
- CARSON: Getting to the top by starting at the bottom
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Understanding economic events with a free market explanation
John Wood illustrates a new American politics, and the path to get there.
White House pets gone wild!