The jury of 6 women deliberated for 16½ hours, and came with the verdict of NOT GUILTY. George Zimmerman, 29, who is of white and Hispanic descent, stated he was acting in self-defense when he shot the unarmed 17 year old Trayvon Martin, who was black, during an altercation in a gated community of Sanford, Fla., on Feb. 26, 2012. After the shocking verdict there has been an uproar in the black community due to the racial profiling that occurred with Trayvon Martin that was overlooked in the case despite recorded racial slurs. After watching the trial play out on television down to verdict released late Saturday night, the outcome of the not guilty verdict has set the tone for the value of a black person life. We can truly say that an animal has more justice in America than black human being. Since the verdict there has been wave of emotions in the black communities, in Oakland, California were demonstrators turned into the burning of the American flag along with smashing cop cars. Where do we go from here? After justice has not prevailed in the Trayvon Martin case.
Unfortunately Zimmerman was found not guilty on all counts after being charged with second-degree murder for the murder of Trayvon Martin in February 2012. Judge Debra Nelson ruled that jurors could consider a lesser charge of manslaughter before they deliberated on Friday. The fact that Zimmerman wasn’t convicted of anything is a greater mis-justice. The decision might have capped the criminal case, but for Zimmerman and others, this is the beginning of a very important chapter in their lives. Even president Obama weighed in on the Trayvon Martin case, urging “calm reflection.” At the same time, he stressed that “we are a nation of laws, and a jury has spoken.” President Obama called Martin’s death a tragedy for America.
So now that the criminal case is over now what? Even though the Florida jury of 6 found George Zimmerman not guilty, a court could still hold him accountable for Trayvon Martin’s death. There’s two ways this can happen a civil lawsuit or a civil rights suit. The difference is that in a civil suit a party can seek monetary damages against another for causing physical or emotional harm, regardless of the outcome of a criminal trial and in a civil rights suit it involves criminal charges for violating someone’s civil rights, which are protected under federal law.
Even though the jury of six women reached their decision on this trial, this isn’t over, we are making our voices heard on Trayvon Martins behalf. The change will not happen today but IT WILL.