July 16, 2013 |
It is a tragedy that Trayvon Martin ended up dead in his scuffle with George Zimmerman, a tragedy that Zimmerman caused. He shouldn't have assumed that Martin was up to no good, and he shouldn't have pursued him after a police dispatcher warned him not to. And yet not every tragedy or bad judgment is proof of a crime, much less a federal civil rights violation. When federal prosecutors bring charges after defendants have been acquitted in state court, they test the principle of double jeopardy, forcing suspects to stand trial twice on essentially the same facts.
December 11, 2013 |
George Zimmerman's most recent brush with the law came to an uneventful end Wednesday when Florida authorities said they would not charge him with domestic violence. His girlfriend, Samantha Scheibe, had called police last month alleging that he pointed a gun at her face. He was arrested and released on bond. But she recanted her story in an affidavit signed Friday, saying she wasn't afraid of Zimmerman and wanted the court order that barred him from contacting her lifted.
March 20, 2012 |
When a rash of burglaries and other crimes broke out in and around a gated community in Sanford, Fla., residents wanted some form of protection. Someone raised the possibility of a neighborhood watch group. But only one resident seems to have come forward for the duties: George Zimmerman. Zimmerman, 28, is the focal point for national outrage over the fatal Feb. 26 shooting of an unarmed teen, Trayvon Martin. The 17-year-old was returning from a sugar run -- he'd bought a bag of Skittles and an iced tea at a local convenience store -- and was reportedly talking on a cellphone to his girlfriend when he crossed paths with Zimmerman.
June 20, 2013 |
A jury of six women will decide the fate of George Zimmerman, the former neighborhood watch volunteer who says he shot an unarmed black teenager, Trayvon Martin, in self-defense during a confrontation in Florida last year. Opening statements were scheduled for 9 a.m. Monday in a case that galvanized protests by civil rights leaders across the nation. The defense on Thursday morning questioned the prospective jurors as lawyers for Zimmerman and the state whittled down the pool to six jurors and four alternates. PHOTOS: The controversial case in pictures Judge Debra S. Nelson then turned to Zimmerman, who has been in the courtroom in Sanford, Fla., since jury selection began June 10. “Is this jury panel acceptable to you, sir?
June 25, 2013 |
The police department official who worked with George Zimmerman on establishing a neighborhood watch program at a gated community in Sanford, Fla., testified Tuesday that members of such groups were not supposed to follow suspicious people and were told to stand aside and allow the police to do their jobs. On the second day of witness testimony in the well-publicized murder case, Wendy Dorival of the Sanford, Fla., police department described the protocols under which neighborhood watch groups operated.
September 10, 2013 |
He stood his ground, she stood by her man and the world seemingly cannot stand away from the ongoing soap opera that has become the life of George Zimmerman. Police in Lake Mary Florida are expected to decide quickly whether to charge George Zimmerman, or his wife, Shellie, with domestic battery, police spokesman Zach Hudson told the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday. Officials could also decide to not charge either member of the estranged couple, he said. “This is definitely not over,” Hudson said.
July 16, 2013 |
A string of misperceptions has driven the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman tragedy from the very beginning, including the public misperception that perfect justice can be found in a court of law. The misperception that propelled events from the very start was Zimmerman's assumption that a black kid in a hoodie did not belong in his neighborhood. If he had known Martin was the guest of a local resident with no other mission than to reach home with the package of Skittles he had just purchased, Zimmerman would not have followed the young man. In fact, if he had simply not held a stereotype in his head that a young African American in a hoodie is very likely a criminal, Martin would be alive today and Zimmerman would not have had his own life turned upside down.
September 11, 2013 |
George Zimmerman may stay out of jail. On Wednesday, the Lake Mary, Fla., Police Department said investigators may not have enough evidence to make an arrest in connection with the bizarre altercation that happened this week between the man who killed Trayvon Martin and his wife, who is divorcing him. A police spokesman told reporters that an iPad that was being used to record the incident was too badly smashed to immediately retrieve video...
July 13, 2013 |
SANFORD, Fla. - George Zimmerman was acquitted on Saturday of all charges in the shooting of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager who was slain last year in a confrontation that touched off a national debate about race and guns. The jury of six women returned the verdict after more than 16 hours of deliberation over two days. Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder, but the jury had the option of finding him guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter. Zimmerman stood stone-faced as the verdict was read.