Locals react to Zimmerman verdict, aftermath

When Jim Jackson turned on his TV Saturday night, he was seeking evidence of change.
Alissa Widman Neese
Jul 17, 2013

But as he observed a slew of unforeseen updates regarding a contentious trial verdict, the president of the local NAACP chapter said he felt nothing less than a slap in the face.

“A verdict like this shows nothing has changed too much from the 1950s,” Jackson said Monday. “The local black community is outraged. We’re stunned. And we have a right to be.”   

This past weekend, a jury acquitted a Florida neighborhood watch volunteer of all charges against him in the killing of a teenager this past year. He could have been convicted of second-degree murder or manslaughter. 

The man, George Zimmerman, shot an unarmed 17-year-old, Trayvon Martin, in what he claimed was an act of self-defense. Others claimed Zimmerman, who identifies himself as Hispanic, racially profiled Martin, a black teen who was walking home from a convenience store on a rainy February night.       

A jury of six deliberated for more than 15 hours and determined Saturday that Zimmerman’s claims were justified. The polarizing decision has ignited passionate responses nationwide regarding racial profiling, state gun laws and what constitutes self-defense. 

Some have said the case isn’t a race issue, but to Jackson, the situation’s racial implications are impossible to ignore.   

“Try to imagine the situation reversed, if a black man shot a white teenager on his way home in his neighborhood,” Jackson said. “There would be outrage among everyone. What it comes down to is the question: ‘Is racism dead in America?’ Obviously it’s not.”   

The NAACP has called for the U.S. Department of Justice to open a civil rights case against Zimmerman. The justice department said Sunday it’s looking into the case to determine whether it should do so.

The NAACP has created an online petition to the department, which it’s promoting on its website, www.naacp.org. Most local NAACP members have signed it. Despite the petition and outcry, many local individuals, including those practicing law, contend the federal ruling was correct.   

“It’s easy to second-guess others, but we weren’t in the courtroom nor on the street,” said Kenneth R. Bailey, an attorney in Sandusky. “I have faith that the jury’s verdict of actual innocence is accurate.”   

An arrest doesn’t mean an individual is guilty, which is the mindset of many Americans following divisive trials, Bailey said. In this instance, Bailey acknowledged injustice is still alive, regardless of the verdict.   

“Mr. Zimmerman will be followed by the shadow of this case for the rest of his life,” Bailey said. “Meanwhile, the Martin family will never be reunited with their son. Nobody received justice.”   

Chris Knople, a Norwalk resident who spoke about the case Monday after responding to one of the Register’s Facebook posts, said he believes people should “trust the jury followed the letter of the law” and stop making uninformed decisions regarding the case, including rioting and citing racism.   

“In the days to follow, I’m going to be interested in seeing if Zimmerman is pursued by the justice department,” Knople said. “Will it be because of pressure from the public and Washington D.C., or will it be because actual charges exist? We shall see.”

 

George Zimmerman case highlights

George Zimmerman's trial in the shooting death of teen Trayvon Martin was nearly three weeks long and concluded Saturday night with an acquittal on all charges. The ruling on the Florida case unleashed debate nationwide concerning racial profiling, self-defense, gun laws and equal justice.

•The verdict: George Zimmerman, who identifies as Hispanic, was found not guilty of second-degree murder in the 2012 death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, who is black. The jury could have considered manslaughter charges for Zimmerman but declined doing so.

•The jury: The case's judge issued an anonymity order for the six jurors during the trial, so their names have not been made public. They delivered their verdict Saturday after 15 hours of deliberation.

•President's response: The White House doesn't typically respond to trials not involving the president or federal government, but it issued a rare statement Sunday about the Zimmerman trial. In the statement, President Barack Obama said "we are a nation of laws, and a jury has spoken," but also called Martin's death a tragedy and acknowledged the strong passions it elicited nationwide.

•Looking forward: Zimmerman left the courthouse this weekend as a free man with no charges. The NAACP has called for the U.S. Department of Justice to open a civil rights case against Zimmerman. The department said Sunday it's looking into the case to determine whether it should do so.

 

Friendly chatter

The Register asked some of its Facebook friends for their opinions on the trial verdict:

•Shari Miller: The jury made the decision. If anyone is unhappy with it then they should be mad at the jury. It is what it is.

•Robert Vanwhy: It's messed up how someone can kill an innocent kid and get away with it and an innocent woman fires warning shots to protect herself and she gets 20 years. That's one messed up system down there.

•Jon Adams: Poor George Zimmerman has to fear for his life. In a fit of hilarity George's brother worried that "someone might take the law into his own hands!"

•Kimberly Slater-Price: Very happy!

•Shaun Bickley: It should have never went to trial. Zimmerman never committed any crime. The police would not press charges, then politically 44 days after the event, the special prosecutor charged him ... Total crap!

•Tim Stang: Time to move on, folks. Nobody won in this tragedy.

•Kari Hamer: Enough with the race war. Tragedies happen every day to many different races, not all black and white.

•Dianne Trout: I am not convinced that he is not guilty. Why would you take a gun outside in a residential area with the safety off if you were not premeditating something?

•Dionne Amison: Not one of you would say say "time to move on" or "get over it" if it had been your 17-year-old child that had been racially profiled, followed, chased down and then gunned down like an animal.

•Tiffany England: None of this would have been about race if the media didn't make it that way. Nothing makes any sense in America anymore.

 

Comments

BULLISDEEP's picture
BULLISDEEP

deertracker
Tue, 07/16/2013 - 7:57am

It's time to move on guys. Let it go!

Yellow Snow

The 50th anniversary of Dr. King's speech in Washington is a few weeks away.

"Do you know that Negros are 10% of the population of St. Louis and are responsible for 58% of our crimes. We've got to face that, and we've got to do something about our moral standings" Dr. Martin Luther King 1961 This was before the benefits of the civil rights movement. This was pre-voting right, pre civil-rights.

Jesse Jackson once said "When I'm walking down the street at night and I hear footsteps behind me and I turn around and see a White person, I'm relieved" So the perception of Black people is both law abiding Whites and law abiding Blacks
Today's black leaders say until you get rid of racism, don't blame us.
There needs to be discussion within Black families, children, and leaders. It really has very little with White people. Black behavior drives perceptions.
Discussion needs to get back to the kind of discussion Dr. King was trying to have. Stop focusing on White racism, and focus on personal responsibility. It is only then when racism will be forever gone,

sandtown born a...

Personal responsibility what a concept, now try to convince the racists of that concept, not a lot of hope for them, save our youth and teach your children a non racist view that's the best chance for eliminating the hatred that seems to be a way of life for so many. Of course this is just my opinion but I try to live it daily.

The Big Dog's back

Would you be singing the same tune if it was your son stalked and gunned down?

deertracker

No, he wouldn't! This is about unequal justice!

BULLISDEEP's picture
BULLISDEEP

deertracker
Tue, 07/16/2013 - 7:57am

It's time to move on guys. Let it go!

arnmcrmn

He wasn't stalked down.....the law proved that. Martin came back after Ziimmerman stopped following him and was returning to his car. He wanted to teach this cracker a lesson...even though Zim is hispanic. Martin was trying to live up to the thug character he has created over his social media accounts.

Mystery_Cheese

I would've raised my son to call the police if he's being followed by a stranger, not his friend; unless of course that friend was intelligent enough to call the police for you. I'd also raise him to avoid confrontation whenever possible, since you don't know what the other person is packing or planning. My son would've screamed for help while running home and calling the police.

However, were my son stalked and gunned down, unlike Martin, then yes, I would be singing a different tune.

sandtown born a...

my son wouldn't have confronted someone for following them, end of story

The Big Dog's back

You don't know that.

Bottom Line

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2...

Probably the most honest man in America... and certainly the most respect I've ever had for someone in a steelers hat.

The Big Dog's back

A new statistical study of federal crime data led by Ezekiel Edwards of the ACLU, as reported by Yahoo News, has concluded that black people are arrested for possessing marijuana far more often than white people, even though marijuana use by both races is about the same. About 14% of black people and 12% of white people reported in 2010 that they had used marijuana during the previous year. The study notes that in absolute numbers, far more whites were arrested for marijuana possession in 2010, 460,808, than blacks with 282,117 arrests, but those numbers translate into 716 arrests per 100,000 for blacks in 2010 versus 192 per 100,000 for whites.

herbie_hancock

"Far more whites were arrested for marijuana possession in 2010" Haha...the ACLUs numbers in this study don't even add up. The total population in the US is 316,668,567 (2012 stat). In the US 79.96% (253,208,186) of the population is white and %12.85 (40,691,910) is black (2012 stats). So if both races use mariquana approximately the same like your study suggest (14% white = 35,449,100, 12% black = 4,883,030), then OBVIOUSLY more white people are going to be arrested for it then black because there are MORE white people. As far as the arrest per 100,000 based on the exact SAME user percentages, total population and population break-up by race in 2012, the numbers in the ACLU study should be 354 white arrest per 100,000 and 48 black arrest per 100,000. Thus debunking whatever it was you were trying to argue by posting your "study". The numbers listed by the ACLU in THEIR OWN study don't add up, making your argument invalid. Statistics can be made to look like anything simply by omitting a peice of data. Just because you can copy and paste something from yahoo doesn't mean its going to be accurate or intelligent. 99% of people who have cancer.......DRANK WATER!!! And THATS a true statistic.

deertracker

You are correct. Whites do get arrested more. They just don't go to prison. Blacks do! Now do the math!

herbie_hancock

We could do the math on repeat offenders broken up by race then...Im pretty sure that will explain why there are more black people in jail for marijuana (a minor misdomeanor the first time in Ohio) then whites. Or we could do the math on intent to sell and trafficing marijuana by race. But only if you think it will help your argument...

deertracker

You would be wrong. If you are going to go all stat crazy, include all stats!

KnuckleDragger

What deerturd is trying to say is, he doesn't have a clue, and won't believe you even if you laid all the facts on the table. Liberals don't like facts because they often go against their sick agenda.

BULLISDEEP's picture
BULLISDEEP

deertracker
Tue, 07/16/2013 - 7:57am

It's time to move on guys. Let it go!

Julie R.

"You are correct. Whites do get arrested more. They just don't go to prison. Blacks do! Now do the math!"

Like.

herbie_hancock

See the above comment Julie. If you can’t understand the above comment that already broke down the math and explained the follow on comment then maybe I could invite The Count to write it as a Sesame Street song. I already know the math, I’d rather you do it, and enjoy the deafening silence that would follow once you learn the facts. Or you could keep echoing someone else’s psycho babble that was already shot down because it wasn’t based on fact. Feel free to keep commenting though, the more you do, the more credibility you lose because you base your comments off your feelings and what someone else says instead of the unfortunate facts. Your comments just make you another drama king/queen of a small town newspaper forum. Congrats.

Julie R.

Sorry, but I think black people DO get harsher prison sentences than white people for identical/similar crimes.

A few examples in this area alone --- the black lady Krista Harris got a harsh five-year prison sentence with no early release after Erie County prosecutors (barf) claimed she stole from her elderly aunt, even after the aunt's doctor, Susan Gallagher, testified that the POA she used was legal prepared years back when the aunt was still competent. Now compare that to the white employee in the Erie County Treasurer's office who stole $150K of taxpayer monies. All she got was 2 years and only had to serve a third of it. Or how about the white employee at Huron's Key Bank that stole half a million over a 5-year period? All she got was two years, too.

Also, how about the judges in corrupt Cuyahoga County who the FEDS got for fixing cases for the friends of Dimora and Russo? The white female judge only got two years ~ and according to the Plain Dealer ~ she's already out, meaning she never even served the full 2 years. Yet the black male judge got 5 years with no early release.

deertracker

Not to mention the lady in Florida that just got 20 years for trying to protect herself from her abusive husband. All she did was shoot in the air!

J Cooper

Its called the rule of law, like it or not, where was the outrage when OJ was acquitted? Obama, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton talks about this case but when do they do anything when, that since this tragic incident which was 514 days ago, 11,106 blacks have been killed, 93% at the hands of other blacks. Who are the true racists in this incident? Bigots come in all colors.

dontknowmuch

Sadly, the black community can't generate any racism and cry foul when blacks are killing blacks. Throw diffferent colors in and racism is alive and well

Unassumer

Zimmerman's a racist and so are most of you. I will concede that I am too but this man killed a young man that he profiled as a criminal based on his overall appearance and he should not have been acquitted. The legal system needs some serious revamping when a pot smoker can get more time than a murderer. The jury made a mistake alright.

arnmcrmn

When the 911 operator asked if he was white, hispanic or black....Zimmerman replied...I don't know....he has a hoodie on. So there goes the profiling theory you so idiotically implied out the window.

Case is over...Facts are facts. move on.

dontknowmuch

Cry us a river Mr. Jackson. The jury has spoken and for your information, one of those jurors was one of your own. As long as their is the NAACP, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and the libtard media... the racial pot will be continued to be stirred well. What does Mr. Jackson have to say about the glut of black-on-black killing, especially in Chicago?

The Big Dog's back

So you justify Trayvon's murder by zim because other Blacks kill Blacks?

grumpy

There is no need to justify Martin's death. The evidence that could be PROVED showed Zimmerman to be not guilty, the jury found him to be not guilty, and the judge declared Zimmerman not guilty. When that happens it is justifiable homicide. But that is only if you agree with the laws of this country.

J Cooper

Wheres the black leadership speaking up like they did in this incident, what no political points to gain?

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