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.



Mr. D

He wasn't murdered nor manslaughtered. . . It's over. . . Not Guilty. . . The Jury has spoken!!! Puppy, stop whinning!!!!

The Big Dog's back

Remember Hurricane Katrina where the Conservative media portrayed White people coming out of stores with their arms loaded as "survivors" looking for food. They called Blacks doing the same thing looters.


I didn't see white people carrying a big screen TV that they couldn't have plugged in if they wanted to.

The Big Dog's back

You weren't watching then.


The people that were effected the most were black but all of them were poor. They had nothing! ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! Not even water! America was and should have been so embarrassed!

BULLISDEEP's picture

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

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


haha no rebutle on the TVs? I WAS down there during the relief. Where you big dog or deertracker? Or is your source of information whatever you seen on TV?


Enlighten us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Looters and refugees!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


when you can't win an argument. Deflect. Big and Deer get the deflection of the year award and its only July.


Where was the NAACP when OJ Walked a free man after being acquitted of the murders of Ron Goldman and Nichole Simpson? Did they file any type of civil rights complaint? We all know the answer to those two questions. Reverse the roles, Martin being the community watch volunteer and Zimmerman was the one killed. Would the NAACP have filed a civil rights case against Martin had he shot and killed Zimmerman in defense of himself and then found not guilty at trial. Speaking of which, this trial should have not even taken place at all under the law. They were pressured into making an arrest because if they had not their political careers would have been over. If they wanted to prosecute it later, they could have waited for more evidence as there is no statue of limitations on murder. They could have waited to see whether or not Zimmerman bragged about it or collected just a little bit more evidence before going to trial. Zimmerman may have done some things he probably should not have prior to the shooting but as I understand it, it was Martin not Zimmerman who initiated the contact and escalated the violence which was witnessed by another who said that Martin was standing over Zimmerman and pounding the crap out of him which was backed by the injuries that Zimmerman sustained. As far as the safety of the weapon that so many have commented on, you know just how many guns are out there that do not have a manual safety on them? Glock & Smith pistols(M&P models) to name a few. Why did Martin call his girlfriend and not the police when Martin was following him? Two things that didn't happen should have for sure. Zimmerman should have stayed in his car and Martin should have never walked up to Zimmerman and started a confrontation.

The Big Dog's back

NAACP? If the roles were reversed Martin would have tried, fried and died by now.


Ok. What would the NAACP have to say if the child had been Oriental? Indian? Irish? South African (WHITE)? Brazilian? Seems they are ONLY concerned about civil rights if they are BLACK.

The Big Dog's back

There would have been an arrest. No need for NAACP.


The verdict doest see color. Nice try. Game over Big.


I remember seeing on tv coverage of blacks taking hair products, TV's ect.... During the coverage of Katrina on tv I saw whites taking water bottles and food. Do I think that blacks didn't take food or whites didn't loot -No. Black on Black crime is a really serious problem, Its not o.k. Its rarely addressed,Its easier to blame other races all the time, that way blacks can always blindly ignore this truth.


Don't know why you keep posting stuff you find on google or yahoo. when you do the math and fact check it most of it is wrong, thus destroying your credibility.

The Big Dog's back

That's Ok, you don't have to worry about destroying your credibility because you didn't have any to begin with.


ooooo burn...I see what you did there, you avoided my statement and turned it into a "I know you are but what am I?"...clever. But its easier to start from no credibility than to startover from destroyed credibility. Maybe thats why "the big dog is BACK".


The issue here is the fact that everyone is overlooking the fact that Trayvon Martin called Zimmerman a "(insert word)cracka". Where I come from, "cracka" is a derogatory term used to put down people of Caucasian descent. I find it funny that the "President of the NAACP" thinks that what he says holds any real water. Just being part of the NAACP is racist in itself. The NAACP cries fowl play any time something happens to an African American person that they do not find fit. Simply put, if an African American person is not put in the best light possible, it's a civil rights issue. We do no actually live in a world of racism, we live in a world of reverse racism. People are too scared to get the NAACP on their tails over something, that they simply give up when fighting for something in which they believe. You want to make this a civil rights case, then fine, but we must bring the Martin family into the issue to testify for their son who called a man a "cracka". Case closed.

The Big Dog's back

Where you come from the sun doesn't shine.


Furthermore; if this does get made into a civil rights issue, then the next time an African American assaults a Caucasian it should be a civil rights case.


As far as the case goes, by the way, the verdict was correct. The prosecution did not bring forth enough evidence for a guilty verdict. They we not able to prove false Mr. Zimmerman's statement that he was headed back to his car when he was attacked by Mr. Martin. Therefore; his testimony is the only that holds any value in a jurors eyes. Maybe if the prosecution called to the stand someone who didn't lie about their age of all things, the trial would have ended much differently.


I want a college fund too. the America cracker college fund.


W hite
A mericans
S cholarship
P rogram


If Zimmerman was black and Martin was white, would it make national news?

Why are crimes of blacks against whites hushed up?

"Christopher Newsom, Channon Christian Remembered, 6 Years After Horrific Torture Slaying"

"The Newsom-Christian story—an atrocity worthy of Nazis, or comparable to the cruel depredations of Japanese imperial troops—was ignored by the mainstream press. And the reason the liberal media deliberately buried this story is because the human monsters who committed this barbarous act were black, and the victims were white."

The Big Dog's back

After a jury trial, Lemaricus Davidson was sentenced to death by lethal injection and Letalvis Cobbins and George Thomas were sentenced to life in prison, Cobbins without the possibility of parole and Thomas with the possibility. Vanessa Coleman has been convicted of facilitating the crimes and sentenced to 53 years in prison, and Eric Dewayne Boyd has been convicted of federal charges as accessory after the fact to carjacking and sentenced to 18 years in prison.


After a jury trial Zimmerman was found not guilty. Case closed. Thanks for playing.


"Letalvis Cobbins and George Thomas were sentenced to life in prison, Cobbins without the possibility of parole and Thomas with the possibility."


"“While based on the evidence, this was not a carjacking, rape and the two whites involved were responsible for their own deaths (the young woman named Channon Christian reportedly shot and killed Christopher Newsom and then attempted suicide), the conviction of Letalvis and his brother Lemaricus now allow us to recognize this as a legitimate Reparation Protest, refer to Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom’s ‘killings’ as justified under that clause and demand the release of our brother into our custody,”

"According to white news sources, Channon Gail Christian and Hugh Christopher Newsom were a couple from Knoxville, Tennessee who were raped, tortured and murdered after being kidnapped early on the morning of January 7, 2007. Knoxville Black Foot Soldiers, however, allege the evidence from the case suggests Channon and Christopher did have prior encounters with their alleged 'carjackers'."

What I just posted is garbage and BS. It is not factual but racist. Justice should not be about race, justice should be about what is truthful. Sometimes the news media holds back on the truth.