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

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games, Despite Woes

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    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.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora