After sixteen and a half hours of deliberating, the Florida six women jury in the case of the Trayvon Martin murder found George Zimmerman not guilty of deliberately killing the Florida teenager.
On the night of February 26, 2012, Martin was walking to his father’s fiancée’s house in the rain. Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, saw the teen and immediately called 911. Even though the volunteer was instructed not to follow the intruder, Zimmerman decided to follow him on foot, so that he could give the police a definite address. When the two men got into a fight, some neighbors called the police; in one 911 call, you can hear the men yelling.
The yelling caused some debate in the court room. Martin’s mother said she was “absolutely” sure that the person yelling was her son; Zimmerman’s parents said the same of their child. Other debates in the court room included whether Martin saw or went for Zimmerman’s gun, whether or not Zimmerman was racially profiling the black teen, and whether he shot to kill. One thing that didn’t need to be debated; Zimmerman killed Martin with his gun.
During the trial, Assistant State Attorney Bernie de la Rionda asked the jury “Why would a scared man get out of his car and walk around after being told not to? Shouldn’t Zimmerman have had more than a bloody nose and scratches on his head given the beating he allegedly took? And did he have an agenda- to do whatever necessary to stop one of those ‘f**king punk’s,’ as he’s heard saying under his breath in his call to the police, from getting away?
Assistant State Attorney John Guy agreed with de la Rionda calling Zimmerman a wannabe police officer who assumed Martin was one of the kids terrorizing his neighborhood, and took matters into his own hands. “The defendant didn’t shoot Trayvon Martin because he had to,” Guy said. “He shot him because he wanted to. That’s the bottom line.”
According to defense attorney Mark O’Mara, Zimmerman was only defending himself. O’Mara said that Zimmerman was only looking out for his neighborhood, but was going back to the car when Martin jumped out of a bush and that’s when things got physical. The teen apparently held Zimmerman down, punched him, and repeatedly slammed his head against the concrete. “That was somebody who the availability of dangerous items, from his fist to the concrete, to cause great bodily injury against George Zimmerman,” O’Mara said. “Do not give anybody the benefit of the doubt except for George Zimmerman,” he concluded.
People from around the states, took an interest in the case forming their own opinions about it and rallying at the courthouse to give their stance; including a rally in the timely issue of the gun debate. Of those rallies, thousands of people attended on led by civil rights activist, calling Zimmerman a racist and demanding him to be put in jail. O’Mara has refuted the claims telling the court of his client’s time mentoring black children and taking a black girl to his prom.
The verdict tells us that while he did shoot Martin, the jury could not find evidence that this was a criminal act and not self-defense.
While the Sheriff’s office in Broward County said: “While raising your voice is encouraged, using your hands is not.”
O’Mara said that Zimmerman is still afraid; “There are a percentage of the population who are angry, they’re upset, and they may well take it out on him”