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

    Self-doubt, Cultural Barriers Hinder Cambodian Women in Tech

    Longtime Cambodian tech observer Sok Sikieng says that although more women have joined profession in recent years, there remain significant factors hindering women from reaching tech potential

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Annual festival showcases the region's harvested agriculture, fine wines and offers opportunities to experience the gentle breeze in a hot air balloon flight

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 2
     Previous    
    by: Andy Popov from: Kazakhstan
    July 14, 2013 2:02 PM
    The very important correction to the unjust American law, that is occurring now
    of the policeman John Zimmerman trial.

    The main question occurring of the Zimmerman's trial is :
    Why the policemen even did not try to shoot at legs of the suspected teenager,
    as well as usually do Russian and Kazakh policemen using the weapon,
    and why the American policeman had killed the unarmed teenager at once?
    Just so was killed by policeman earlier chap Dimitry arrived to America from Kazakhstan.
    Of course, if the young man infringes the order and tries to attack the policeman then he
    has the right to use the weapon. But the Russian and Kazakh people can not understand
    the cause why American policeman even do not to minimize the possible damage
    and tries to kill the suspected man instead to wound him in order to delay and to catch him?
    In this case we see, the policeman John Zimmerman had the right to use the weapon
    as he was attacked by teenager.
    But we are not sure there was the strong necessity to kill the unarmed chap!
    We need to seek the any gold middle between rights of the policeman and the unarmed citizen!
    Andy Popoov Kazakhstan Temir-town.
    In Response

    by: PragueGuy from: Prague
    July 15, 2013 11:50 AM
    Andy, Please take some time and read the facts of this story. Zimmerman is not, and never was a police officer - he volunteered as a the neighborhood eyes and ears to keep a lookout on his neighbors. Apparently you never carried a firearm or you watch too many movies: if you think in a deadly force situation you aim for a leg or a foot, you most likely would be dead Andy. Also, I have been to Kazakhstan, and of course I was not worried about being shot by a Kazakh-cop because they were too busy extorting bribes from passing motorists.
         

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora