Trayvon Martin

The fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman took place on the night of February 26, 2012, in Sanford, Florida in the United States. Martin was an unarmed 17-year-old African American high school student. Zimmerman, a 28-year-old Hispanic American, was the neighbourhood watch co-ordinator for the gated community where Martin was temporarily staying and where the shooting took place. Zimmerman was acquitted of murder on July 13 triggering protests against racial profiling across America and calls for a federal civil rights prosecution.

CommentInsight & Opinion

How they see it

Acquittal of George Zimmerman

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 21 July, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 21 July, 2013, 3:24am
 

1. Orlando Sentinel

For those who felt certain that George Zimmerman was guilty of murder when he shot Trayvon Martin, the verdict … is a bitter pill to swallow. The reaction has included an understandable measure of outrage, sorrow and cynicism. It's been a painful journey that isn't yet over. And make no mistake: Justice, for all its imperfections, was done. Zimmerman was afforded his constitutional right to face his accusers - the state - and was judged by a jury of his peers. All of that said, however, let's be truthful: This case was, and still is, about this nation's racial struggles … It forced Americans to yet again confront our stubbornly persistent racial misunderstandings, tensions and divisions. Orlando

 

2. The Guardian

It took 44 days after Martin's death and a national campaign in the US for Zimmerman to be arrested. In that time, evidence was lost as the Florida police insisted that the state's law on self-defence barred them from bringing charges. The prosecutors said the case was not about race … and yet, without the element of race, Martin might still be alive. Zimmerman's pursuit of and confrontation with him was premised on the assumption that the very presence of a black teenager in a gated community was sufficient cause for alarm … On Sunday, the president said the acquittal should be met with calm reflection, and reminded Americans that theirs was a nation of laws … The question this case poses is: whose laws? London

 

3. Gulf News

It is a matter of grave concern that Florida's "stand your ground" law seems to apply to some people, but not to others. A jury dismissed all the charges against George Zimmerman … [But] in the same week, Marissa Alexander, who had fired warning shots at her abusive husband, was sentenced to 20 years. Both used the same defence, the "stand your ground" law, which is based on the principle that a person may justifiably use force in self-defence … The real danger in the two cases is that they will ignite a furious racial debate across the whole of America since Zimmerman's successful defence may be overshadowed by his white colour and the losing defence of Alexander by her black colour. Dubai

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