George Zimmerman is not guilty of the murder of Trayvon Martin, a Florida jury decided late Saturday.
The fact that Zimmerman fired the bullet that killed Martin was never in question, but the verdict means the six-person jury had reasonable doubt that the shooting amounted to a criminal act.
The verdict caps a case that has inflamed passions for well over a year, much of it focused on race and gun rights.
The six-person jury — all women — basically had three choices: to find Zimmerman guilty of second-degree murder; to find him guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter; or to find him not guilty.
The jurors deliberated for 16½ hours total, including 13 on Saturday alone, before delivering its verdict.
Zimmerman smiled and then shook his lawyer’s hands when he learned his fate. His parents, Robert and Gladys Zimmerman, were seated nearby, but Martin’s parents were not in the courtroom.
Remember, the New Black Panther Party was calling for rallies and “street maneuvers” if a not guilty verdict was reached.
Via the Washington Times:
A series of tweets posted in the same time frame reference the potential for post-trial violence — and the NBPP’s attitude toward that likelihood.
“If Zimmerman is acquitted there is likely to be unrest all over America. It will be way beyond the capacity of the NBPP,” the tweet read.
Another, in the same time frame: “From what we are hearing there is a HIGH chance of rebellion across the nation if Zimmerman is acquitted on all charges.”
And a third: “New Black Panther Party will not give you specific details on anything other than to say we have rallies and street maneuvers planned.”
If you’ll recall, several years ago, the President of the NBPP described street maneuvers as such:
“We will see caskets and funerals in the community of our enemy.”
Via the Daily Caller:
Perhaps Mr. Shabazz is unfamiliar with his own attempts to “stir up racial fears,” but in case he has forgotten, this video from C-Span (h/t John Simpson) where he calls out to a crowd in Washington, D.C. to “unite against a common enemy” and to defend themselves against the police should help remind him. In his words, “when we see caskets rolling and funerals in the black community … we will see caskets and funerals in the community of our enemy.”
The video is from an August 2000 event called the “Redeem the Dream” rally hosted by the Reverend Al Sharpton and includes participation by the NAACP, Democratic Rep. John Conyers of Georgia, current Democratic New York gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo, and former President of the NAACP and former Democratic Rep. Kweisi Mfume.
Let’s hope we don’t see another Reginald Denny incident.