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Zimmerman is innocent - riots, federal probe inevitable

Rain in the Brainerd lakes area trapped most residents confined to their homes. Some were watching the Scottish Open on NBC, others were treated to an unusual Minnesota Twins’ back-to-back wins over the much-hated New York Yankees and some were glued to their televisions waiting for a six person jury to render a verdict in a Sanford, Fla., trial that had the nation fixated on its decision for two days.

Community watch captain George Zimmerman was charged with second degree murder in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Martin was black and Zimmerman was the son of a white father and a Peruvian mother. Most considered the shooter Hispanic. His physical characteristics would have affirmed that assumption.

After deliberating for 16 hours, an all female jury informed the court they had reached a verdict. Lawyers for the prosecution and the defense were summoned back to court Saturday around 10 p.m. local time. The jury’s foreman handed the decision to the deputy, who in turn passed the verdict to Judge Nelson, who opened the half-folded paper, glanced at the information regarding the jury‘s decision and then passed it to the court’s recorder to announce to the courtroom.

Zimmerman stood along with his attorneys.

An entire nation was silent for the time the recorder read the verdict. Then, as the part that said: “...we the jury, find George Zimmerman, not guilty” there was stunned silence.

Zimmerman’s family hugged and cried. Zimmerman stood in absolute silence. No expression. One of his attorneys stuck out a hand to congratulate the accused. It was over. Or was it?

It was clear that those who thought Zimmerman should have, and in their minds, been found guilty were not going to stand by.

The reverends Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton were quick to call the verdict of the jury an “injustice” and racially biased.

Now, President Obama and his attorney general Eric Holder are looking into whether or not to drag the juries decision into federal court and charge Zimmerman with capital murder, which would carry the death penalty if he is found guilty.

That would be an injustice if, in fact, the president and his AG make such a move.

Keith Hansen

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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