Zimmerman juror talks about Trayvon Martin case, verdict

George Zimmerman is pictured during the second day of jury selection in his murder trial for shooting death of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin in 2012, at Seminole circuit court in Sanford, Florida, June 11, 2013.  Credit: Reuters
George Zimmerman was acquitted in the shooting of Trayvon Martin.
Credit: Reuters

Jurors in the trial of George Zimmerman were originally split on whether the shooting of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin amounted to murder, but most agreed it was Zimmerman, not Martin, calling for help in the background of an emergency call, a juror told CNN.

The six-woman jury acquitted Zimmerman, ending a trial that became a national story about race in America. The unnamed juror, No. B-37, said no one on the jury believed that race played a role in the shooting.

Defense lawyers argued that Martin attacked Zimmerman, who shot the unarmed black 17-year-old in self-defense. Prosecutors said Zimmerman, 29, who is white and Hispanic, wrongly suspected Martin of being a criminal.

The jury in Sanford, Fla., on Saturday found Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter after a three-week trial.

The jury initially had three votes for not guilty, two votes for manslaughter and one vote for second-degree murder when deliberations began, juror B-37 told CNN on Monday.

“There was a couple of them in there that wanted to find him guilty of something. And after hours and hours and hours of deliberating over the law, and reading it over and over and over again, we just decided there’s no other way or place to go,” she told CNN.

One key question in the trial was whether Zimmerman’s or Martin’s voice was heard calling for help in the background of an emergency call.

“I think it was George Zimmerman’s. All but probably one (juror agreed),” said Juror B-37 told CNN with her identity concealed.

ZIMMERMAN IN HIDING

Immediately following the verdict, civil rights activists began calling for federal charges against Zimmerman, saying the trial in Florida failed to serve justice.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday called the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Martin “unnecessary,” raising questions about whether he believed the shooter, Zimmerman, acted in self-defense.

Holder did not indicate whether he intended to bring a federal case.

The federal hate crimes law would require the government to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman shot Martin because of race.

Zimmerman, 29, has gone into hiding since the verdict. Friends, family and defense lawyers have said he will need time to put his life back together and was considering entering law school to help people wrongly accused of crimes.

Zimmerman’s parents told ABC television on Monday they were unaware of his whereabouts and feared for his safety after receiving death threats.

Asked by interviewer Barbara Walters if his son would remain in hiding, Robert Zimmerman said, “If I was him, I would.”

His mother, Gladys Zimmerman, described the moment she saw her son after the verdict. “I hugged him. I kissed him,” she said. “And he said, ‘Thank you, mom. I want to go home.’”

Ben Crump, a lawyer for Martin’s divorced parents, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, said the family would weigh its options regarding a wrongful death civil lawsuit. For now, they were still devastated by the verdict, he said.

“She cried, she prayed to God, and then she cried some more,” Crump said of Fulton. “She said, ‘I will not let this verdict define Trayvon. We will define our son Trayvon’s legacy.’ It was real inspiring.”

PROTESTS ACROSS THE COUNTRY

The verdict triggered protests across the United States from people who said Zimmerman racially profiled Martin as a possible criminal and pursued him while armed with a loaded 9mm pistol.

Then on Sunday the Justice Department announced it would reopen its investigation into the case. It said prosecutors would determine whether any of the “limited” applicable civil rights laws had been violated, and whether the case met guidelines for bringing a federal case after a matter has been decided in state court.

By finding Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder, the Seminole County jury rejected the charge that Zimmerman acted with ill will, spite or hatred.

CNN also aired an interview with a crucial witness in the case, Rachel Jeantel, a friend of Martin’s who was on the phone with him when the confrontation with Zimmerman began. Jeantel said the jury failed to comprehend that race was a factor and lacked an understanding of youth culture.

“They’re white, well, one Hispanic, but she’s stuck in the middle,” Jeantel said. “They’re old school. We’re in a new school. My generation.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

International

North Korean leader's money manager defects in Russia:…

A senior North Korean banking official who managed money for leader Kim Jong Un has defected in Russia and was seeking asylum in a third country, a South Korean newspaper…

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 29,…

The Department of Transportation and NYPD said there may be residual delays near all of the street closures on August 29, 31 and 31. Several streets and avenues will be…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…