Zimmerman acquittal triggers protests and talk of race in US


PROTESTS FOR TRAYVON. A man holds a cardboard cutout of Trayvon Martin during a demonstration in New York on July 14, 2013. Photo by AFP/Stan Honda

A Florida jury finds neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman not guilty of murdering unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin in a racially charged trial that polarized the nation. Zimmerman was accused of pursuing the teenager in Sanford, Florida, and shooting him during an altercation on February 26, 2012. Prosecutors say Zimmerman racially profiled Martin and instigated the confrontation, while his defense attorneys claim he acted in self-defense after Martin wrestled him to the ground and slammed his head on the pavement. Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law allows people to use deadly force to defend themselves. Following the verdict, protest marches were staged overnight in various US cities. In a statement issued by the White House Sunday, US President Barack Obama urges the nation to accept the verdict. Obama says, “The death of Trayvon Martin was a tragedy…I know this case has elicited strong passions. And in the wake of the verdict, I know those passions may be running even higher. But we are a nation of laws, and a jury has spoken.”

In its analysis of the trial, CNN says the nation was divided in how it saw the killing. To one side, Zimmerman was a gun-toting predator. To the other, he was just an overzealous citizen. To one side, Martin was an innocent teenager. To the other, he was a young man who decided to attack when he could have talked with Zimmerman or gone to the police.


Read the full story here, here, on NY Times and CNN

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