Locals react to Zimmerman verdict, aftermath

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

bobshumway92

This is awesome! Love the drama and all the cry babies!

deertracker

I really don't feel that if you are not a minority, especially a black man, you just don't quite experience the same treatment. I and many other black men have been profiled. I know some of you do not believe it happens but it does. It has always been so present it is just a way of life for blacks. Problem is we are tired of it. You don't see protests when obvious criminals are jailed. You see protests when people feel there has been some type of injustice! If you want to see blacks or any other race or ethnicity act a fool, kill their children. You will have major issues and rightfully so.

Darwin's choice

And your perpetuating that exact racism. Whenever it suits your nees Mr. Sharpton....

deertracker

Just stating the facts Dagwood!

J Cooper

93% of violent crime against blacks were committed by blacks, time to face facts and take responsibility in you community and quit blaming others for your failures in providing a stable family life. The leadership needs to work on ways to better their community and not their own political agenda. Racist comes in all colors.

The Big Dog's back

Reality and right wingnuts can never be in the same sentence. Good post deertracker.

J Cooper

Lies and deceit the hallmark of the far left wackos.

I

deertracker, Thanks for reiterating what we've known for a long time...White bleeding heart liberals, like big dog, have no idea what they're talking about.

arnmcrmn

Hey deer. Maybe if you would quit looking around each corner for someone who may or may not do you wrong and automatically and neurotically think "its cause Im black isn't it".

Ive had people say horrible and untrue things about me. Ive had people stick me at my office only to see them post on FB that they are going on vacation next week. You don't see me saying......its cause Im white.

Until the excuses stop and until every time a black person is slighted or wronged that they stop using the RACE card, it will never get better. Only YOUR culture and race can fix the big issue.

deertracker

Until people like you admit there is a problem, the chances of fixing anything are slim and none. When you have lived one hour as a black person you get an opinion. Therefore, you DON'T! It is a black man's worst fear to be pulled over by a cop knowing no crime had been committed! You guys can scream race card all you want. It does not change the facts. The facts are the facts. Thousands and thousands of black men that don't even know each other can't ALL be telling the same lie. You want to trivialize the issue and that is why your words are empty!

I

deertracker, Thanks for reiterating what we've known for a long time...White bleeding heart liberals, like big dog, have no idea what they're talking about.

BULLISDEEP's picture
BULLISDEEP

Let it rest ,remember ,just can't do it can you.

deertracker

My comment is not about the trial. It's not just a comment. It's FACT! I don't care how anyone feels about it. I know what I know!

Darwin's choice

You're racist.

deertracker

I speak the truth! Try it!

BULLISDEEP's picture
BULLISDEEP

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

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

Just another thread on the same thing ,all you are doing is feeding the SR pig

grumpy

If George Zimmerman had been a black man, and everything else had been the same, we would never had heard of this case.

The Big Dog's back

That's right. Because if he was Black he would have been tried, fried, and crucified.

arnmcrmn

Facts and the Law do not see color. You lose again.

herbie_hancock

Unless he played football for the jets.

grumpy

The evidence showed that he was not guilty, so said the evidence, the jury and the judge. The piddle puppy's opinion does not matter in the real world. In piddle puppy world he is Queen. In the real world... he is laughable.

The Big Dog's back

pooh, exactly what's your interest in the case?

grumpy

Since the case is over, my main interest in it is rubbing your nose in it. Now that I have answered your question, what exactly is your interest in the case?

J Cooper

dog breath, ask you the same question, you have more posts than anyone. Taking advantage of a tragedy for political gain, who do you think you are, Jackson, Sharpton, Holder or Obama?

KnuckleDragger

Nah, he is just a trailer dwelling old fart with nothing better to do than stir up excrement.

deertracker

Do you have a problem with people that live in trailers?

KnuckleDragger

Only ignorant ones.

Mr. D

Grumpy, your last post says it all, says it best and to the point.

J Cooper

Would someone please put down the lid, dog breath seems to be drinking too much of the far left liberal wacko Kool Aide.

arnmcrmn

The local black community outraged because they do not want to accept the facts of the case.

Not Guilty....time to move on.

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