Friday, October 25, 2013  
Search By Keyword
Breaking News Alerts
Email Alerts
Email Address
Text Alerts
Mobile Number
 )  - 
Mobile Provider
standard messaging rates apply
College Football Bowl Game in Charleston
Do you support the reinvigorated push for a college football bowl game to be played in Charleston?
Zimmerman Verdict Shocking, Frightening
7/17/2013 12:05:17 PM

Rev. John Paul Brown

By Barney Blakeney 

The verdict in the George Zimmerman murder trial shocked many across the nation. Many in Charleston also were shocked.

Rev. John Paul Brown, pastor of Mt. Zion AME Church in Charleston said he was not shocked however. The verdict was predetermined, Rev. Brown said. From its opening, the prosecution gave every indication it would not genuinely pursue a conviction, he said.

Seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin’s controversial shooting death at Zimmerman’s hands was justified ever since police arrested Zimmerman, Rev. Brown said. Only after public outcry was Zimmerman charged with shooting Martin who Zimmerman said was acting suspiciously.

Zimmerman, a neighborhood watchman, followed the unarmed teen who was returning to his father’s home in the neighborhood after a trip to a convenience store in February 2012. Zimmerman, who was armed, confronted the teen before the two fought and Martin was killed. There were no other witnesses.

“Zimmerman already had been released by the police after the incident. If not for the public, he never would have been charged,” Rev. Brown said. “The verdict just reflects what a Black life is worth. These inequities still exist in the American (judicial) system. There are hundreds of Trayvon Martin cases we never hear about.”

North Charleston attorney and S.C. House Rep. J. Seth Whipper said he’s unsure if Florida’s atypical laws led to the acquittal, but in most states Zimmerman’s trial would have resulted in a manslaughter conviction.

He agreed with Rev. Brown who thought the trial at least should have produced a hung jury. Without witnesses, “The answer to I don’t know what happened is I don’t know what happened,” he said.

Former S.C. 9th Judicial Circuit Court Judge Daniel E. Martin said the verdict was absolutely wrong. The jury’s verdict is assumed to have been based on a presence of reasonable doubt, but there was enough evidence submitted to produce a guilty verdict, he said.

“I think they wanted to let Zimmerman go and they used to law to do that,” he said.

YWCA Executive Director Kathleen Rogers said she wasn’t shocked, she was disappointed.

“I expected a manslaughter verdict,” she said. “That a grown man can kill an unarmed teen and have it considered to be ‘no problem’ bothers me. There is much we don’t know, but we do know that Zimmerman created the scenario and that he shot Trayvon Martin.”

All the respondents thought the verdict has some severe implications.

Rogers said the case and recent legislative actions from state legislatures and the U.S. Supreme Court take on frightening aspects when viewed in a historical context.

“If you look at our gun what we’re doing with gun control and laws like Stand Your Ground ... I don’t think we’ll see any Black Boys hanging from trees, but this could open the door to shoot them,” she said.

Whipper said the public’s response to the Zimmerman verdict should be a “certain wariness”.

The value of Black life has to increase. “We have got to elevate our worth,” he said. 

Visitor Comments
Submit A Comment
Submitted By: Harry Ball Submitted: 7/17/2013
Shocking? Most of America knew , after evidence was exposed, that GZ would be non-guilty. The false narrative laid by Ben Crump and his P.R. team (Julison Communications) crumbled from the truth.

Account Login  

  need help?  
Current Conditions
Charleston, SC
Radar & More >>
click ad below for details
Show All Ads