News / USA

US Attorney General: Resolve Needed to Prevent Violence

Protests, Rallies Staged Nationwide in Wake of Zimmerman Verdicti
July 15, 2013 10:27 AM
Almost immediately after the verdict came down acquitting George Zimmerman of murder in the death of Trayvon Martin, people used social media and public rallies to express their opinion of the outcome. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more from Chicago, Illinois.
VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports on rallies following Zimmerman verdict
VOA News
The top U.S. law enforcement official is calling for a new national discussion about the "complicated and emotionally-charged issues" surrounding the shooting death last year of an unarmed black teenager.

Attorney General Eric Holder spoke Monday in Washington, two days after a Florida jury acquitted neighborhood-watch volunteer George Zimmerman of murder charges in Trayvon Martin's death.  

​Thousands of demonstrators have staged protests in several U.S. cities to protest the verdict.

Watch a Related Report by Carolyn Presutti
Racial Protests, Possible Civil Rights Suit in Zimmerman Casei
July 16, 2013 2:12 AM
The jury has spoken in the George Zimmerman murder trial and found the defendant not guilty. Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, was charged with killing unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin in February of last year. But the case is far from over. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains what happens next.

Holder said the America should not let the moment pass to have a "necessarily difficult dialogue" about stereotypes involving racial identity and young people.

"We are resolved, as you are, to combat violence involving or directed at young people, to prevent future tragedies and to deal with the underlying attitudes, mistaken beliefs and stereotypes that serve as the basis for these too common incidents," said Holder.

Holder heads the country's Department of Justice, which he said is reviewing whether federal charges should be brought against Zimmerman. The agency would have to establish whether Zimmerman, who is Hispanic, was motivated by racial animosity, even though race was barely mentioned in the Florida trial. Holder gave no indication when a decision would be made.

There were demonstrations Sunday in several U.S. cities in which protesters called for justice in the face of what they saw as a race-based verdict.

U.S. President Barack Obama appealed for calm and quiet reflection Sunday, saying "we are a nation of laws, and a jury has spoken."

The 17-year-old Martin was killed in a struggle with Zimmerman. The death left many Americans saying Martin was targeted because he was black. Zimmerman said he acted in self-defense after he was physically assaulted by Martin.

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Comment Sorting
by: JKF from: Ottawa, Canada
July 17, 2013 3:04 PM
In my opinion- There is something absolutely and fundamentally wrong, when a civilized society allows for the slaughter of an innocent child, going to a store to buy some snacks. The stand your ground law, makes some sense inside of your own home or business, but does not make any sense when it allows a person to stake, harras, follow, acost, cause fear, cause a confrontation, and end up in the brutal killing of a child on the street, based on some kind of negative strereotype. Such a situation, turns the streets into the old West movies; but at least in the movies everyone had a gun. In my opinion, the narrow window legal scope, on which the judgement of the jurors was based on, is also WRONG; If anyone was defending himself it was the child, Travon Martin, from a weird person following him for no reason at all. The child did not set out to go for a confrontation, nor did he have a gun or any other weapon, on the other hand the killer set out looking for a confrontatation, with a gun, with no other purpose, that eve, but to look for someone to pass judgement, confront agressively, and such a confrontation lead to the firing of the gun, killing the child! no ifs and buts; but the judgement is based on the final seconds of the innocent childs life, who was defending himself from the armed confrontational stranger. THE LAW DOES NOT MAKE SENSE!

by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
July 15, 2013 11:02 PM
I would like to know how feafully Martin assaulted Zinmerman. If Zimmermann need not have had a fear that Martin might have a gun, he would have another way to protect himself.

by: Bearman from: U.S.A.
July 15, 2013 8:22 PM
Please get this straight... Martin did nothing criminal UNTIL he assaulted Zimmerman. Martin then was killed in the commission of a criminal act. If Martin had survived his wounds, he could have had criminal assault charges brought against him. He placed a reasonable and prudent person in fear of death or grave bodily harm. Zimmerman then took the appropriate action. This unfortunate death could have been prevented if Martin did not assault Zimmerman with criminal intent.

Despite the best efforts of the judge and the prosecutor to convict Zimmerman, the jury used facts and not hyperbole and came to a just decision.

What happened had NOTHING to do with race, skittles, or hooded sweatshirts.
In Response

by: Beatrice from: USA
July 16, 2013 1:01 AM
Nice cheat arguing " appropriate action" .... what abt Zimmerman following TM despite police officer dispatcher not to...........In fact Zi by not obeying order - he placed a reasonable and prudent 17 year old TM in fear that led to his death.

by: USALawyer from: USA
July 15, 2013 4:37 PM
Approximately 12%-13% of the American population is African-American, but they make up 40.1% of the almost 2.1 million male inmates in jail or prison (U.S. Department of Justice, 2009).

Racial Profiling is horrific... Obama is a pawn though and there won't be anything done about it... Other than talk...
In Response

by: PragueGuy from: Prague
July 16, 2013 2:23 AM
Did you ever think that the 40.1% are criminals? Just some food for liberal ACLU thought.

by: Mark T
July 15, 2013 2:34 PM
How many of those protesters were there in Florida that night? How many of those protesters had access to all the testimony and evidence that the legal teams had? None. Zip. Nada. Zero. The 'internet jury' has no say in legal matters in such a case, or any case. The real jury has decided on the facts that were presented, and each side of the legal table had its say in court (however effective or ineffective) and what is done is done and over now. The Federal Government needs to stay away now, the case is over, the trial is over. The State of Florida has rendered its decision and that decision is final. To try Zimmerman on Federal charges is just an attempt at a do-over that will waste more taxpayer's money and get this country more fired up than it already is.
The incident was unfortunate, and like the trial and verdict, it is over with. Let all parties concerned find closure now.

by: Davis K. Thanjan from: New York
July 15, 2013 10:18 AM
President Obama should not interfere in the legal process of criminal cases. His publicized opinion before prosecution of Zimmerman is interference in the judiciary. The jury and the court rejected his indirect threat. President Obama keep on making comments after the verdict indirectly encouraging protests. We have several Zimmermans and O.J. Simpsons in the US. It is prudent that the President avoid any statements regarding these criminal cases. The comments of President Obama raises concern whether Zimmermann or Obama has racial intentions?

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