News / USA

Zimmerman Shooting Verdict Prompts Pointed Reactions

Syed Shamsuzzaman shouts in anger after hearing a verdict of not guilty in the trial of George Zimmerman, Saturday, July 13, 2013, in Sanford, Fla.
Syed Shamsuzzaman shouts in anger after hearing a verdict of not guilty in the trial of George Zimmerman, Saturday, July 13, 2013, in Sanford, Fla.
Michael Bowman
— Passionate, but mostly peaceful protests, have erupted in several U.S. cities after a Florida man was acquitted of murder and manslaughter in the highly-publicized shooting death of a black teenager last year.

Verdicts in racially-charged cases have, on occasion, triggered violence and destruction on a massive scale.  The 1992 acquittal of Los Angeles police officers in the beating of a black motorist sparked days of ferocious riots and looting in the city.  Dozens of people were killed, hundreds were wounded, and property damage topped $1 billion.

By comparison, reaction to the acquittal of Florida shooting suspect George Zimmerman has been relatively peaceful.

Late Saturday, a six-woman jury arrived at a verdict in one of America’s most closely-watched court cases of recent years.

An attorney for the family of deceased 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, appeared on the Fox News Sunday television program.  Darryl Parks described the verdict as “unbelievable”, but said the Martin family wants the public to remain calm. “That is their [the jury’s] decision.  We accept their decision, but we do not agree with their decision," he said.

In 2012, Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, spotted Martin walking at night through his Florida community.  A confrontation and struggle ensued, ending with Zimmerman shooting Martin.

The court case appeared to hinge on conflicting accounts of who had incited hostilities, and whether Zimmerman was acting in self-defense.

The verdict was appropriate, according to a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Republican Orrin Hatch, who spoke on ABC’s This Week program. “If the rule is that you have to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, there were plenty of reasonable doubts there [presented at trial]," he said.

Although acquitted of criminal wrongdoing, Zimmerman could still face civil charges if the Martin family or the U.S. Justice Department pursue that avenue.

You May Like

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid