Some reactions to the Zimmerman verdict
“But one fact has long been crystal clear: ‘shoot-first’ laws like those in Florida can inspire dangerous vigilantism and protect those who act recklessly with guns. Such laws – drafted by gun lobby extremists in Washington – encourage deadly confrontations by enabling people to shoot first and argue ‘justifiable homicide’ later.”
He added, “Last year, I joined a broad coalition of civic leaders to shine a light on the impact of ‘shoot-first’ laws and work to eliminate them, in Florida and wherever they have been passed. We will continue that work – and the tragic death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed child attempting to walk home from the store, will continue to drive our efforts.” . . .Of course, as I noted in my latest op-ed today, the Stand Your Ground law had nothing to do with this case because Zimmerman couldn't retreat with his back to the ground.
National Urban League President Marc Morial told MSNBC that the verdict would lead to him renewing his effort to go after "the ."
On ABC News' This Week, Travis Smiley said this: "It appears to me, and I think many other persons in this country that you can in fact stand your ground unless you are a black man. George Zimmerman was allowed to stand his ground, Trayvon Martin was not allowed to stand his ground."
The National Journal has this:
Quinn also disparaged the "Stand Your Ground" law at the center of the Martin case, saying "we don't have it in Illinois, and we don't want it."Former Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D-N.Y.) said Sunday that the legal system failed in not finding George Zimmerman guilty in the shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin, but cautioned that the Justice Department could have a challenge bringing civil rights charges in the case.
Al Sharpton had these thoughtful comments:
"Well, I think that this is an atrocity," said Sharpton. "I think that it is probably one of the worst situations that I've seen. What this jury has done is establish a precedent that when you are young and fit a certain profile, you can be committing no crime, just bringing some Skittles and iced tea home to your brother, and be killed and someone can claim self-defense having been exposed with all kinds of lies, all kinds of inconsistencies. ... Even at trial when he is exposed over and over again as a liar, he is acquitted. This is a sad day in the country. I think that we clearly must move on to the next step in terms of the federal government and in terms of the civil courts. Clearly, we want people to be disciplined, strategic. But this is a slap in the face to those that believe in justice in this country." . . .President Obama called for passage of more gun control laws as the appropriate response:
"We should ask ourselves if we're doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence that claims too many lives across this country on a daily basis. We should ask ourselves, as individuals and as a society, how we can prevent future tragedies like this. As citizens, that's a job for all of us. That's the way to honor Trayvon Martin." . . .Ben Camp, Martin Family Attorney, had this to say (at about 2:50 into the video): "Trayvon Martin will forever remain in the annuls of history next to Medgar Evers and Emmett Till as symbols for the fight for equal justice for all." I have a hard time seeing the connection here. Evers was a civil rights icon who in 1954 became the first NAACP field secretary in Mississippi. He was assassinated in his driveway. Emmett Till was a 14-year-old who was kidnapped and hung by three men.
Bernice King, the daughter of Martin Luther King, has this on Facebook:
It's '63 once again. NOT GUILTY. Just like those who got off for the Bombing of the 16th Street Church in Birmingham back in '63. I'm stunned and disappointed. It's a sad day in the history of American Jurisprudence that our Justice system continues to fall short of the truth, especially when a person can be going about their daily business and ultimately be killed because of a false assumption. In the words of a friend, "any law that justifies the actions of Zimmerman is an unjust law. In the words of my father "We've got some difficult days ahead." Let us seek God for his guidance during this time. God is a God of Justice, mercy and grace. All protests against the verdict must demonstrate an irrevocable commitment to Nonviolence, to honor the dignity of Trayvon Martin's life and not add further tragedy to what his family and the people of Sanford have already experienced. Now is the time to create a culture of Nonviolence. . . .For the previous comments that focused on race, possibly they should read the FBI investigation on Zimmerman.
After interviewing nearly three dozen people in the George Zimmerman murder case, the FBI found no evidence that racial bias was a motivating factor in the shooting of Trayvon Martin, records released Thursday show. . . .
Federal agents interviewed Zimmerman’s neighbors and co-workers, but none said Zimmerman had expressed racial animus at any time prior to the Feb. 26 shooting of Martin, a black teen, in a confrontation at a Sanford housing complex. As Sanford police investigated the circumstances of Martin’s death, the FBI opened a parallel probe to determine if Martin’s civil rights had been violated.
Several co-workers said they had never seen Zimmerman display any prejudice or racial bias. . . .
The Giants popular and squeaky clean wide receiver apologized this afternoon for an unfortunate tweet he wrote last night, moments after the neighborhood watch volunteer was cleared on all charges. . . .
The Giants star tweeted: "Thoroughly confused. Zimmerman doesn't last a year before the hood catches up to him.” . . .Besides the possibility of Federal action against Zimmerman, the Martin family is also considering civil action.
Crump [the Martin's lawyer] added that it wasn't clear at this point whether the family would file any further civil action against Zimmerman. . . .As a side note, of course, Obama weighted in famously early on in the case when he said: "If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon."