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

The Good Doctor

The verdict inthe criminal case does NOT end this. It ain't over till we have a judgement in the civil suit.

KnuckleDragger

There will be no civil suit. Florida law prohibits a lawsuit by the family of someone killed in a self-defense killing. The only thing they have is the possible civil rights charges, which the FBI has already said that there is no evidence to convict him of that.

deertracker

The guy is BROKE anyway! Karma will come knocking one day!

herbie_hancock

until he wins his lawsuit against MSNBC for doctoring the 911 tape.

The Good Doctor

The verdict in the criminal case does NOT end this. It ain't over till we have a judgement in the civil suit.

arnmcrmn

we? are you part of the Martin party?

FBI background checks proved there was no racial issues or profiling or any of such sort.
Try again.

The Good Doctor

"We" stands for the collective group. The federal investigation was not completed, pending the outcome of the criminal case.

cam

Mr. Jim Jackson. Can you please tell us what stance you will make on Marley Lion's death. He was a 17 year old white male. He was sleeping in his suv when a 30 year old black male walked up and shot and killed him. Where is the outrage over this??? Or wait. Is it because he was a white male?

The Big Dog's back

I know you racists always try to equate something. The 30 year old Black man was arrested along with 3 others. They didn't shoot him because he was white.

arnmcrmn

and Zimmerman didn't shoot Martin because he was black either. He shot him because the facts are he was getting his head crushed into the concrete, feared for his life and ended the situation.

While sad and tragic....all Martin had to do was keep on walking and he'd be alive today to post more MJ twitter pics and pics of guns in his bed and on him. If he didn't have this attitude that he had to come back around to teach this cracker a lesson...he wouldn't of been killed.

More guns in peoples hands will make others think twice about starting a fight with people. In this case, Martin didn't use his head.

2cents

(Confessions of a Racist)

http://pjmedia.com/rogerlsimon/2...

Fremonster

Zimmerman has a black stepsister. He once dated a black woman. He tried to start a business with one of his many black friends.. He's simply guilty of bad judgement.. Don't trust mainstream media, they will do what it takes to get high ratings & advertisers.

arnmcrmn

and he tutored and mentored black kids in and around his community. Time for the black community to come together and fix THEIR problems within their own race instead of once again blaming someone else.

The Big Dog's back

Yep, Black people shouldn't walk around while being Black. Gotcha.

grumpy

If you equate "Black people walking around being Black" includes cold-cocking the neighborhood watch and crawling on top of him, slamming his head on the ground, and going ground and pound, you would be correct. but it has been my experience that 99.99%+ black people don't do that when walking around.

cockynurse

Bla Bla Bla. This isn't about race. CNN/HLN are being sued over "enhancing"'that non-emergency call to make it sound like Zimmerman made a racial comment.

Get over it, people. This is EXPLOITATION of Martin and Zimmerman solely for self-serving purposes.

He's not guilty-move on.

There you go again

Too bad our President and Mr. Holder had to poke their nose into this case. Ya think they are trying to politicise this unfortunate case?!?! I don't call that good leadership-besides, they have enough to worry about.

KnuckleDragger

“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.”

In fact, around the same time a group of black men, raped, tortured and killed a white couple in Tennessee. Nary a word was mentioned in the news, while they were trumping up the self defense killing of Trayvon Martin. No outrage whatsoever. So Mr Jackson, you can stuff it!!!

http://beforeitsnews.com/alterna...

2cents

And when OJ Simpson was found not guilty did one white person or other group burn, destroy and blame every walking black person? NO These people enjoy keeping hate going, blaming the current generation for mistakes of past generations. It will not end until the US government wants it to end and with Eric Holder backing hate it looks like it end has just been pushed back another 25 years.

SPEEDY GONZALEZ

BLACK, WHITE, IT DOESN'T MATTER! LOTS OF OPINIONS ON HERE, WHEN MOST PEOPLE DONT KNOW ALL (YES ALL) THE FACTS IN THE CASE. WHAT I FIND IRONIC IS THAT WHETHER BLACK OR WHITE MOST PEOPLE DENY THAT THEY ARE RACIST. IVE BEEN CALLED SOME OF THOSE NAMES AND HAVE USED RACIST TERMS IN JOKES AND CONVERSATIONS ABOUT OTHERS. I'VE HEARD THOSE COMMENTS. IF PEOPLE WANT TO GET ON HERE AND LIE, AND DENY THAT FACT THAT'S FINE, BUT WE ALL KNOW THE TRUTH. I KNOW VERY FEW PEOPLE IN FACT THAT DON'T. I HAVE FRIENDS OF DIFFERENT COLOR AND THEY'RE RACIST TOO. I'M SURE THE TRUTH WON'T GO OVER TOO WELL, BUT HAY IT'S THE TRUTH, AND THAT OFFENDS PEOPLE NOWADAYS. JUST LIKE THE FACT THAT WE HAVE A DEMON IN THE WHITE HOUSE. COLOR HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE FACT THAT HE'S A DEMON. DEMONS AREN'T BLACK OR WHITE! THEY ARE DEMONS! THAT'S WHY ALL HIS CRONIES ARE IN POWER. LOTS OF DEMONS!

deertracker

Quiet down!

The Big Dog's back

speedy, slow down.

Kottage Kat

I am NOT a racist. I have a black cat named Marvin Gaye. This is just so ludicris.
LET THERE B PEACE ON EARTH AND LET IT BEGIN WITH ME.
Kat

2cents

Guess your not homophobic either LOL : )

Kottage Kat

Just giggling this just so funny. Why not just accept and move on. Marvin does want to be judged by the colour of his fur, his character is what counts, and he is a character.

Centauri

My comment and question is directed at Big Dog but I invite others to comment also.

Mon, 07/15/2013 - 6:40pm "Zimmerman fate following acquittal uncertain"

In your comment from 07/15/2013, you mentioned James Chaney, who was one of three civil rights workers who were murdered by racist whites. Why didn't you mention Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner who were also murdered along with James. Was it because they were white?

http://www.infoplease.com/spot/b...
"The Murders of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner

There were whites who were murdered who helped blacks during the 1960s. Do blacks have any honor of whites who gave their lives helping blacks with their civil rights? I saw some internet sites that list only black civil rights activists murdered but fail to mention the white civil rights activists who were murdered. Have the white civil rights activists been forgotten? There were thousands of white civil rights activists who traveled to the south during the 1960s. Why are they excluded from many internet sites that only mention the black civil rights activists? Some sites mention Goodman, Schwerner and Liuzzo but ignore the rest of the white civil rights activists.

http://www.biography.com/people/...
"Famous Civil Rights Activists"

http://www.infoplease.com/spot/b...
"Heroes of the Civil Rights Movement"

http://www.splcenter.org/civil-r...
"Civil Rights Martyrs"

http://www.sptimes.com/2002/03/0...
"The white women who risked it all for civil rights"

Racism will not die because there are some who perpetuate racism.

The Big Dog's back

paulbot.

grumpy

Piddle puppy, I answered your question last night and asked you the same one and am still waiting. I will ask again, what exactly is your interest in the case?

grumpy

Looks like piddle puppy won't answer the same question he asked me.

Darwin's choice

Big Dog, stop licking your hiney and listen to Obama's biggest fan....

http://news.msn.com/videos/?ap=T...
Biggest fan for removing him from the bottom of the worst president ever list!

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