A Florida jury has found George Zimmerman not guilty. The group deliberated for several hours before coming to a conclusion Saturday (July 13).
Twelve hours into deliberation jurors requested more information about the charge of manslaughter , which was brought to the table in lieu of second-degree murder. Judge Debra Nelson allowed state prosecutors to add the lesser charge as an option, but rejected the charge of third-degree aggravated assault by way of child abuse.
In what became an internationally known story involving the slaying of unarmed teenager, Trayvon Martin, who Zimmerman claimed to have killed in self-defense, opinions were divided. for some Martin’s death was seen as an instance of racial profiling, in which Zimmerman –a former neighborhood watch captain, and criminal justice student– assumed the teen was a criminal based on the color of his skin. On the contrary the 29-year-old, who is half Latino, denied that race was a factor in the tragedy, and in June his father, Robert Zimmerman Sr., wrote an e-book accusing Black people of being discriminatory.
Throughout the last year, reports claimed Zimmerman “didn’t like Black people,” and intentionally pursued and killed Martin out of some form of hatred. In a Myspace post from 2005, he ranted about Mexicans (“I don’t miss driving around scared to hit mexicans walkin on the side of the street, soft [expletive] wanna be thugs messin with peoples cars when they aint around.”), and getting off for allegedly attacking a member of law enforcement (“2 felonies dropped to 1 misdemeanor!!!!!!!!!!!! The man knows he was wrong but still got this hump, Thanks to everyone friends and fam, G baby you know your my rock!”).
Public opinion however was not a deciding factor in the case. Jurors were sequestered throughout the trial, so as to deliver a non-biased judgement.
Ahead of the verdict, Martin’s family discouraged any form of violence as a response to the court ruling.
Photo: AP Photo/Orlando Sentinel, Joe Burbank, Pool