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.

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Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
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.

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