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.



joshua206's picture

The true criminal in all of this has been the media.


What's sad is that most blacks don't feel the way these knuckle heads feel. With only 15% of the population being black, that probably only leaves about 7% who feel justice wasn't served. Who cares? Quit giving the squeaky wheels like little puppy (big dog) attention.


Earlier (Wed, 07/17/2013 - 11:40am) I posted some information and asked Big Dog why he ignored mentioning white civil rights workers Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner who were murdered in the same incident as was James Chaney. Big Dog refused to answer my question and referred to me as a "paulbot" whatever that is.

I have come to the conclusion that Big Dog is a black racist who hates all white people, even the white civil rights workers.

I get attacked by both white and black racists because of my views, comments and beliefs. I feel that the white racists will fade away in time but the black racists perpetuate racism which will not allow the white racists to fade away.

Big Dog mentioned Emmett Till who was murdered by white racists in 1955. The murder of Emmett made news across the globe, long before satellite television and the internet.

The Murder Of Emmett Till (2003) (Documentary from American Experience) 55 minutes long and worth watching by all.

For Big Dog:
"Why Martin Luther King Was Republican"

What did LBJ say about blacks voting Democrat for the next 200 years? I wish that I had saved a link to a very informative article about how the Democrat party is using blacks for votes and keeping blacks poor and "slaves" to general welfare such as food stamps and housing. Some blacks are educated and working and enjoying a decent life. What about the "slaves" still stuck on welfare? How about all of the white racist judges and prosecutors who give blacks severe punishment while giving whites a slap on the hand? Blacks need to find the truth on the internet if they have access to the internet. Many libraries have computers and internet access. Don't believe that propaganda and lies put out by black racist leaders and news media. Look for and find the truth.





The Big Dog's back

jerry sandusky? I thought you were in jail.

sandtown born a...

First, with respect to race, it is much more likely that if a young African-American male dies before he reaches the age of 18 his assailant is also African American, not a white Hispanic. In other words, if the Martin-Zimmerman case illustrates anything, it's certainly not the reality of how or — more importantly — why young black male teens die violent deaths.

sandtown born a...

Guilty or not guilty??? I just wish the same effort being put forth to protest/riot was put forth to stop our youth from killing each other, that is worthy of front page news not the race war baiting stories we have been seeing. That's not as popular of a story as stirring the racial pot


From day one, before Mr. Zimmerman was arrested, the black community was out for a pound of flesh. They screamed to have Zimmerman arrested and he finally was.

It was evident from that point they nothing would suit the family and the crowds that a "GUILTY" verdict would do.

When the trial began, it was evident that the prosecution had NO CASE from which to convict this man. It was clearly evident that Mr. Martin had a large portion of aggressor and combatant in this matter, attacking Mr. Zimmerman and causing a fight.

Even now his mother and father admit openly this isn't the type of child they raised (interview with Anderson Cooper July 18, 2013) They were surprised by his language. (Testimony from his girlfriend....calling Zimmerman a "Crazy a%% cracker" and other comments). You could see the disappointment on their faces.

The jury didn't believe much of the testimony of the girlfriend according to the one jury memeber....we should remember SHE WAS THERE, SHE SHOULD KNOW. ( THE ALTERNATES WERE NOT...THEY WERE EXCUSED AND CANNOT VOTE). So anything that went on in that jury room she had knowledge of. She admits they didn't know what manslaughter was all about. Had their questions been answered, they might have gone with that, but they wre not answered, so they went with not guilty becuase they could find no reason to convict. End of story.

Now to the so called race issues. The elephant waiting outside. The Phantom that was manufactured...yes, manufactured by people like Sharpton, Jackson and others. This is just an excuse to use this young man as a weapon ....a symbol for their platform that blacks are being abused again. Remember that elections are coming up. That is what this is about. How long before you hear that REPUBLICANS are the ones who are willing to help the blacks and not the Democrats.
That is what is coming nexts.

The Good Doctor

What's your point.


Im sorry what was that you were saying about if the race roles were reversed? deertracker and big dog? How'd this one slip by you guys? O thats because it wasn't in the mainstream media where you get alllll your information. And this kid didn't even lay a hand on the guy before he was shot, and never said "Im going to kill you" either. Any outcry? Hypocrites...


The Big Dog's back

Should have been found guilty. Now what?


This was not a race issue. Trayvon Martin was trying to stomp him to death. Had he not been shot, he would have killed Zimmerman and I guarantee there would have been no outcry about that and no one would have called it a race issue. Personally, I feel if your life is at stake you have a right to defend yourself... had it been a 12 year old white girl beating Zimmerman near to death with a brick he'd have had the right to shoot her too and been entirely justified. You can't feel sorry for any person, of any race or gender who is shot while actively trying to beat someone to death.

As for “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.” Recently a Caucasian baby was shot in it's stroller by a group of African American teens, yet there was no outcry. A Caucasian man and his fiance were walking in Florida and he was beaten to death after sticking up for her when five African American 'young adults' began harassing her, yet there was no outcry...why? Because it's not politically correct and it doesn't generate controversy (i.e. "news").

I lock my doors when I see anyone shady near my car... Caucasian, African American, Asian, Hispanic, or other, not because I am racist, but because when I lived in Cleveland, I had 3 friends get carjacked and another punched in his face through the window of his car for 'being white at the wrong intersection'.

Don't tell me you don't lock the doors when the scruffy white guy holding the "Just passing through and hungry" sign out at the edge of Wal Mart's property starts banging on your passenger window...

There are still some racists in the US, and everywhere else. Some people are just intolerant of anyone who doesn't look like them, and it certainly isn't exclusive to 'white' people. There are plenty of African American racists that can't stand Caucasians or Hispanics or (insert other race here); however, the majority of the country isn't racist.

30 years ago there were people who wouldn't let an African American (or Female)doctor work on them... that was racist, and sexist, and stupid. Now, do any of you know anyone, of any race, who would refuse medical care from any one, of any sex, of any race? I don't...