News / USA

    Zimmerman Found Not Guilty in Trayvon Martin Shooting

    George Zimmerman leaves court with his family after Zimmerman's not guilty verdict was read in Seminole Circuit Court in Sanford, Florida, July 13, 2013.
    George Zimmerman leaves court with his family after Zimmerman's not guilty verdict was read in Seminole Circuit Court in Sanford, Florida, July 13, 2013.
    VOA News
    A jury in the U.S. state of Florida has found George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, not guilty in the murder of unarmed black teenager, Trayvon Martin.

    The six-woman jury acquitted Zimmerman late Saturday of all charges in the racially charged proceedings. The case raised the debate over racial profiling with many saying that Zimmerman - who is white and Hispanic - thought the 17-year-old Martin was a criminal because he was black.

    Immediately after the verdict, Martin's supporters - including his family members - took to social media to express their displeasure with the decision. While spontaneous protests sprang up in several cities across the U.S., including thousands of kilometers from Florida in San Francisco.  

    State Prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda says he was disappointed by the ruling, but will respect the jury's decision.

    "I am disappointed, as we are with the verdict. But we accept it. We live in a great country that has a great criminal justice system. It is not perfect, but it's the best in the world and we respect the jury's verdict," he said.

    While Mark O'Mara, Zimmerman's defense lawyer, says they are obviously ecstatic with the results.

    "George Zimmerman was never guilty of anything except protecting himself in self-defense. I'm glad that the jury saw it that way," he said.

    Zimmerman was driving in his neighborhood February 26, 2012, when he saw Martin and called police.  Zimmerman - a neighborhood watch volunteer - got out of his vehicle and followed Martin.  A confrontation and struggle followed, ending with Zimmerman shooting Martin.

    The case made national news after it was revealed that Zimmerman was not charged for more than six weeks after the shooting, because police did not contest his claim that he shot Martin in self-defense.

    The prosecution said Zimmerman profiled the teen and followed him through a gated community because he assumed Martin was intent on making trouble. Zimmerman said he acted in self-defense once he and Martin entered into a struggle, with Martin banging Zimmerman's head against the concrete pavement.  

    Florida's controversial "Stand Your Ground" law authorizes people who fear for their lives to use deadly force without having to avoid a confrontation.

    Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

    You May Like

    Saudi Arabia’s New Female Politicians in the Other Room 

    Many in Saudi Arabia say elected representatives should share unsegregated spaces; according to a recent survey, more than half the Saudi population, both men and women, prefer to work in a segregated place

    Russia Not ‘Apologetic’ for Syria Airstrikes

    With Moscow criticized for targeting armed opponents of President Assad, Russia’s UN envoy says his country ‘acting in a very transparent manner’

    Pakistan Warns of Islamic State's Growing Reach

    Aftab Sultan, General Director General of Intelligence Bureau (IB), briefed Senate Committee in closed hearing, saying that IS-linked groups have been expanding in Pakistan

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 2
        Next 
    by: will from: arkansas
    July 19, 2013 8:28 AM
    did white people riot when OJ was found not guilty in the murders of his white wife and boyfriend, NO! seems that whites are not prejudice but that a lot of the blacks are, blacks look for excuse to riot, beat and kill innocent, what else can you draw form this.

    by: Alisha from: Easley
    July 16, 2013 4:11 AM
    I love how he [Zimmerman] called the police just cause he saw Martin!!! I also love how it was stated that he PROFILED the boy and ASSUMED he would be making trouble!!!!!!!!!!!! They say he didn't murder because of race but because of self-defense! It sounds more like a hate crime to me but even if Treyvon did attack him wouldn't you attack someone if they randomly got out of their car and followed you, I would. Just saying.

    by: Cee from: DC
    July 16, 2013 1:54 AM
    Most people are reacting to the verdict by displaying the same level of intolerance that created the case in the first place. We all need to take a step back and stop separating our humanity from one another.

    by: Peter from: 46311
    July 15, 2013 4:19 PM
    Lets stick with the facts. Two men went into that street, one is alive, and the one not there does not have sufficient facts left behind. Even though Zimmerman went down that road, there is not sufficient evidence to say what he did broke the law. There is doubt about Trayvon, and there is doubt about Zimmerman. So we err on the side of life and freedom. Tough but true. All the great lawyers are saying this case should never have gone to trial. The death of a child is a travesty for a family, but there were choices made by Trayvon that he is living with. Lets not forget that Zimmerman will pay for his actions, if they were not fair equitable and right. You cannot run away from yourself. Personally I have no clue what happened in that street, but even after the trial, the court does not know definitively either. Please stay away from the race issues, that is not what this is about. The death of a child is the death of a child, don't steer away from the facts.

    by: Anonymous
    July 15, 2013 12:42 PM
    Micheal Vick went to PRISON for killing some DOGS!!!! and george zimmerman getting off for killing a CHILD!!!!! What's really going on?????
    In Response

    by: Peter from: 46311
    July 15, 2013 4:21 PM
    But Michael Vick was found guilty. In this case if Zimmerman were found guilty, he too would have gone to jail.

    by: apple34 from: Toronto, Canada
    July 15, 2013 8:45 AM
    R.I.P Trayvon Martin. I have no words to express how I feel right now? God help us.

    by: R.buono-conrad from: Mass.
    July 14, 2013 7:48 PM
    its a sad day in America !!! if a cop can do that and get away with it sad sad day!! I think the feds in to get involved now.. this cop need to be put in jail !! Only in a state like FL would this happen.
    In Response

    by: PragueGuy from: Prague
    July 15, 2013 8:00 AM
    People - before you comment, understand what you are commenting about. First off, Mr. Zimmerman is NOT and never was a police officer. READ and learn before you form an opinion.

    by: Anonymous
    July 14, 2013 7:18 PM
    This is not about race. A child is dead and the killer is not too blame?? No child is perfect but many are saying he deserved waht he got because he wore a hoodie,smoked weed,and took a photo of a gun that was not in his possession the night he died. The parents are not to blame b/c they simply show their child the direction, its the childs decision rather or not they'll take the right direction. Both individuals made bad decisions that night but was a lost life necessary? A lot of children fall under the profile of TM both black and white
    In Response

    by: Bruce Saunders from: Detroit, MI
    July 15, 2013 12:52 PM
    The transcripts show that Zimmerman speculated about Trayvon's race when the was at a distance("...I think he's black") and shortly thereafter confirmed his suspicion, while ending a later comment("...and he's black.") These repeated references to Trayvon's race while assessing his possible criminal motivations is clearly, undeniably proof that race was INDEED a factor in Zimmerman's judgment! Also, photos of the back of Zimmerman's head showed dried trickles of blood and the absence of pressure bandages; this proves that the bleeding was superficial (capillaries), that no blood vessels of any import were damaged (or pressure WOULD have been necessary to stem the bleeding and much larger patches of blood would be present on Zimmerman's scalp and hair, as well as his neck area - not the small, dried trickles that WERE evident). This minor trauma could be expected for someone with short hair receiving even light contact on as abrasive concrete surface, but there is no indication here - or other evidence submitted - to show that Zimmerman sustained"serious trauma" to the back of the head.It appears that Trayvon, exercising HIS right of self-defense, was defending himself too well for his opponent, an adult who vastly out-weighed him but took the coward's way out - bringing a gun to a fist-fight with a child, and using it.

    by: angelica
    July 14, 2013 3:38 PM
    Are you kidding me!!! He wouldn't have supposedly felt that he needed to defense himself if he would have listened to the operator and "NOT FOLLOWED HIM". So in actuality Travon was defending himself from a stalker, for all he knew!! Is the justice forgetting that he was a minor and Zimmerman assaulted and killed a minor .Did Travon not have the right to defend himself???!!!

    by: aisha from: florida
    July 14, 2013 2:52 PM
    This is an absolute disgrace. Zimmerman murdered a child.
    He followed him without reason to, disobeyed dispatchers orders, approached him armed and shot to kill when Trayvon was defending himself. It is a shame we have lawyers like Mark O' Mara who manipulate the law for their own selfish agenda. There was no justice in this verdict. R.I.P Trayvon Martin my prayers go out to him and his loved ones. I sympathize wholeheartedly for the parents who suffered a terrible and undeserved loss.
    Comments page of 2
        Next 

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growthi
    X
    February 10, 2016 5:54 AM
    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Migrant Crisis Fuels Debate Over Britain’s Future in EU

    The migrant crisis in Europe is fueling the debate in Britain ahead of a referendum on staying in the European Union that may be held this year. Prime Minister David Cameron warns that leaving the EU could lead to thousands more migrants arriving in the country. Meanwhile, tension is rising in Calais, France, where thousands of migrants are living in squalid camps. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Families Flee Aleppo for Kurdish Regions in Syria

    Not all who flee the fighting in Aleppo are trying to cross the border into Turkey. A VOA reporter caught up with several families heading for Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.