News

Juror: Zimmerman case was not about race

Juror: Zimmerman case was not about race

George Zimmerman talks to court security investigator Robert Hemmert for a recess after a jury question during his trial in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin at the Seminole County Criminal Justice Center, in Sanford, Florida, July 13, 2013. Photo: Reuters/Joe Burbank/Pool

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The George Zimmerman trial was not about race and the Florida neighborhood watch volunteer was justified in firing the shot that killed Trayvon Martin because he feared for his life, one of the jurors told CNN on Monday.

Juror B-37, a mother of two who grew up in a military family and used to have a permit to carry a concealed weapon, said she did not believe Zimmerman called police to report a suspicious person because the teenager was black.

“All of us thought race did not play a role,” the juror told Anderson Cooper in an interview with her identity concealed about a case which has polarized the U.S. public over the past 16 months and prompted protests in several major cities.

A jury of six anonymous women – all white, except one – found Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter on Saturday after a three-week trial in which defense lawyers argued that he shot Martin in self-defense.

“He had a right to defend himself,” the juror said, adding she believed Martin started the fight and threw the first punch.

“I think Trayvon got mad and attacked him,” said the juror, who, according to her literary agent, has abandoned her plans to write a book about why she found Zimmerman not guilty of murder.

After the verdict in Sanford, Florida, civil rights activists called for federal charges against the neighborhood watchman, saying the trial failed to serve justice.

Police in California made several arrests late on Monday as anger at the acquittal flared in Los Angeles and Oakland.

Los Angeles police arrested one person after a prayer vigil for Martin turned rowdy, while in Oakland, police made multiple arrests at a street protest. Officers did not say how many people were arrested.

WHO’S VOICE?

The juror told CNN that an initial poll of the six women showed three favored not guilty, two voted for manslaughter and one opted for second-degree murder.

“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” but acquittal, she said.

Sounding tearful at times, she said the jury worked hard to reach a verdict, and cried over the decision.

“I want people to know that we put everything into it,” she said. “We thought about it over and over.”

On one crucial point of contention, she said most, if not all, six jurors believed it was Zimmerman and not Martin who was calling for help in the background of a 911 emergency call.

Martin’s mother and brother testified it was Martin’s voice screaming for help while Zimmerman’s parents and several friends swore they recognized it as Zimmerman’s voice.

“I think it was George Zimmerman’s. All but probably one (juror agreed),” she said.

Where she did fault Zimmerman was for showing bad judgment after calling police to report a suspicious person. Zimmerman got out of his car after an emergency dispatcher had admonished him not to follow the person.

Juror B-37 said the altercation could have been avoided if both men had just walked away.

“I feel sorry for both of them,” she said.

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment, Sports

Dominos delivery guy crashes Legion of Boom photo shoot

Fresh
lob

For a 20-year-old pizza shop employee, this was 10 of the best minutes of his life.

in Local Sports

Prep Hoops: Eight local teams represented in A.P. state poll

Fresh
Basketball

Lynden Christian girls move up to number 1 in the Class A ranks, Lummi boys hold on to the top spot in the 1B ranks.

in Sports

Super Bowl XLIX countdown continues as teams hit the field

Fresh
The Super Bowl XLIX logo is displayed on the University of Phoenix Stadium before the Pro Bowl Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. The venue will also host Super Bowl XLIX between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015.

Safety Earl Thomas is the only player listed as questionable on the Seahawks' injury report. Thomas participated in full practice as he tries to play through a dislocated shoulder suffered in the NFC title game.

in Local Sports

Dave Matthews raising 12th man flag on Seattle Space Needle

Fresh
seattle seahawks 12th man flag flying

The 25-by-35-foot blue flag with the white number 12 will fly through the weekend as Seattle takes on the Patriots at the NFL championship game in Arizona.

in Sports, Viral Videos

Porcupine predicts Super Bowl winner

24-overlay2

He's been right the last three years. Can Teddy Bear the porcupine go four-for-four?