Zimmerman Not Guilty in Trayvon Martin Shooting Case
By VOA News
A jury in the southeastern U.S. state of Florida has ruled shooting suspect George Zimmerman is not guilty of murder or manslaughter in the killing of a black teenager last year.
The 6-woman jury late Saturday acquitted Zimmerman, who is part Latino, of all charges in the racially-charged proceedings. Martin’s supporters had accused Zimmerman of racially profiling 17-year-old Trayvon Martin because he was black.
Zimmerman was driving in his neighborhood February 26, 2012, when he saw Martin and called police. Zimmerman – a neighborhood watch volunteer – got out of his vehicle and followed Martin. A confrontation and struggle followed, ending with Zimmerman shooting Martin.
The case made national news after it was revealed that Zimmerman walked free for more than six weeks after the shooting, because police did not contest his claim that he shot Martin in self-defense.
Prosecution and defense concluded their arguments on Friday. The jury then deliberated for 16 and a half hours before delivering Saturday’s decision.
Zimmerman smiled briefly after hearing the not guilty decision, but did not otherwise react outwardly.
The prosecution said Zimmerman profiled the teen and followed him through a gated community because he assumed Martin was intent on making trouble. Zimmerman said he acted in self-defense once he and Martin entered into a struggle, with Martin banging Zimmerman’s head against the concrete pavement.
Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law authorizes people who fear for their lives to use deadly force without having to avoid a confrontation.