- ‘I Am Alive’ app gains popularity in terror-ravaged Lebanon
- Gun giveaways gain popularity among Republican candidates
- S.C. hospital worker slapped with $525 federal fine for refilling $0.89 soda
- Teen from ‘Jihad Jane’ plot becomes youngest ever to serve time on U.S. terror charges
- Iranian woman forgives son’s killer at the gallows
- Nebraska principal sorry for ‘don’t tattle’ flier
- Illinois readies to spend $100M for Obama museum in Chicago
- John Edwards back in court — this time as a lawyer for Va. boy’s malpractice case
- Covered California reports more than 200K in overtime Obamacare sign-ups
- Thanks, Chuck: Hagel says U.S. sending Ukraine sleeping mats, helmets
Violence, riots don’t materialize after George Zimmerman’s verdict, but some in media cry foul
Analysts, law enforcement officials and, most of all, the media warned of potential riots and violence in the streets after Saturday night’s acquittal of George Zimmerman.
Instead, in the hours after the Hispanic former neighborhood watch volunteer was cleared of murder charges in connection with the February 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin, protests across the country mostly were peaceful.
Some awoke Sunday morning expecting to hear of overnight chaos, which was heavily hyped by the news media as a possibility — perhaps a certainty — as the verdict drew nearer.
But that chaos never materialized, and civil rights leaders say it’s a sign of progress. NAACP President Benjamin Jealous on Sunday contrasted the reaction to Mr. Zimmerman’s acquittal to the Los Angeles riots that erupted in 1992 after the trial of four Los Angeles police officers in the Rodney King beating.
“We saw no violence in this country that was related to this case. We are very proud of the discipline this generation of young people has shown. I’m sad to say that my own generation didn’t show such discipline when we were outraged and heartbroken at the verdict in the Rodney King case,” Mr. Jealous said during an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” program Sunday.
“I think we should, right now, be celebrating the fact that we’ve seen a generation of young people respond by using our system; raising their voices, yes, but not using their fists,” he said.
President Obama released a rare statement Sunday on a local crime story that doesn’t yet officially involve the federal government. The president called for continued calm and reflection, even as tensions continued to run high and calls grew louder for the federal government to step in and charge Mr. Zimmerman with hate crimes.
“I now ask every American to respect the call for calm reflection from two parents who lost their young son,” Mr. Obama said. “And as we do, we should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to widen the circle of compassion and understanding in our own communities.”
Rallies were held in Los Angeles, Boston, Detroit and elsewhere across the country. Many people attending vigils in numerous cities, wore “hoodies,” the garb Trayvon was wearing when he was killed.
There were few reports of violence, though protesters in Oakland, Calif., reportedly started small fires in the streets and burned U.S. flags. Local media reported that protesters also spray-painted anti-police graffiti and vandalized a squad car. There were no reports of injuries or deaths anywhere, only of property damage and a handful of arrests.
The Zimmerman case also hit the nation’s pulpits, especially in black churches.
In Manhattan’s Middle Collegiate Church, the Rev. Jacqueline Lewis wore a pink hoodie and encouraged her congregants to do the same in Trayvon’s memory, according to The Associated Press.
She also urged church members to protest peacefully and “raise our voices against the root causes of this kind of tragedy” while telling them that the civil rights leaders of the 1960s “would have wanted us to conduct ourselves on the highest plane of dignity.”
In Washington’s historically black U Street neighborhood, demonstrators early Sunday chanted, “No justice, no peace,” a line heard at several other demonstrations. One U Street protester said America needs to “stop criminalizing black men.” In the Florida state capital of Tallahassee, reporters said, about 200 people demonstrated with signs asking, “Who’s Next?”
Although there was little violence, there was a great deal of outrage over Mr. Zimmerman’s acquittal, including among members of the news media.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
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 email@example.com.
- A distant third: Joe Biden struggles for traction in early 2016 jousting
- Obama conciliatory on immigration
- Obama: Conversation with Cantor was 'friendly'
- Obama: 'Our hearts ache' over South Korean ferry tragedy
- Beau Biden announces Delaware gubernatorial bid
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By Joy Overbeck
Redemption by government is futile
- Joe Biden's first Instagram pic mocked as shill for sunglass ad
- BOLTON: A 'three-state solution' for Middle East peace
- Jews being told to register in Ukraine: John Kerry
- Obama taunts GOP, takes nationally televised victory lap on Obamacare
- Inside China: Marine's comment on islands draws sharp Chinese response
- WEBER: Obamacare cuts home healthcare for millions of seniors
- Army goes to war with National Guard, seizes Apache attack helicopters
- Atheists rush to stage Easter display: 'Jesus Christ is a myth'
- Cliven Bundy's Nevada ranch wrecked by retreating feds
- Rand and Ron Paul ride to the rescue for Bundy in Nevada standoff with feds
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.