Juror: Zimmerman case was not about race

Juror: Zimmerman case was not about race

George Zimmerman talks to court security investigator Robert Hemmert for a recess after a jury question during his trial in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin at the Seminole County Criminal Justice Center, in Sanford, Florida, July 13, 2013. Photo: Reuters/Joe Burbank/Pool

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The George Zimmerman trial was not about race and the Florida neighborhood watch volunteer was justified in firing the shot that killed Trayvon Martin because he feared for his life, one of the jurors told CNN on Monday.

Juror B-37, a mother of two who grew up in a military family and used to have a permit to carry a concealed weapon, said she did not believe Zimmerman called police to report a suspicious person because the teenager was black.

“All of us thought race did not play a role,” the juror told Anderson Cooper in an interview with her identity concealed about a case which has polarized the U.S. public over the past 16 months and prompted protests in several major cities.

A jury of six anonymous women – all white, except one – found Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter on Saturday after a three-week trial in which defense lawyers argued that he shot Martin in self-defense.

“He had a right to defend himself,” the juror said, adding she believed Martin started the fight and threw the first punch.

“I think Trayvon got mad and attacked him,” said the juror, who, according to her literary agent, has abandoned her plans to write a book about why she found Zimmerman not guilty of murder.

After the verdict in Sanford, Florida, civil rights activists called for federal charges against the neighborhood watchman, saying the trial failed to serve justice.

Police in California made several arrests late on Monday as anger at the acquittal flared in Los Angeles and Oakland.

Los Angeles police arrested one person after a prayer vigil for Martin turned rowdy, while in Oakland, police made multiple arrests at a street protest. Officers did not say how many people were arrested.


The juror told CNN that an initial poll of the six women showed three favored not guilty, two voted for manslaughter and one opted for second-degree murder.

“There was a couple of them in there that wanted to find him guilty of something. And after hours and hours and hours of deliberating over the law, and reading it over and over and over again, we just decided there’s no other way or place to go” but acquittal, she said.

Sounding tearful at times, she said the jury worked hard to reach a verdict, and cried over the decision.

“I want people to know that we put everything into it,” she said. “We thought about it over and over.”

On one crucial point of contention, she said most, if not all, six jurors believed it was Zimmerman and not Martin who was calling for help in the background of a 911 emergency call.

Martin’s mother and brother testified it was Martin’s voice screaming for help while Zimmerman’s parents and several friends swore they recognized it as Zimmerman’s voice.

“I think it was George Zimmerman’s. All but probably one (juror agreed),” she said.

Where she did fault Zimmerman was for showing bad judgment after calling police to report a suspicious person. Zimmerman got out of his car after an emergency dispatcher had admonished him not to follow the person.

Juror B-37 said the altercation could have been avoided if both men had just walked away.

“I feel sorry for both of them,” she said.

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

Today in entertainment history: Dec. 1


A look at the Hollywood headlines that went down in history.

in Entertainment

HOLIDAY TV: What to watch this week


This week is packed with programs to get you in the holiday spirit.

in Entertainment

Bono, Clooney, Kardashian part of all-star campaign for AIDS

FILE - In this March 2, 2014 file photo, Bono arrives at the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. A New York City doctor says U2 singer Bono suffered multiple fractures and had to have two surgeries after his weekend bicycle accident. Orthopedic trauma surgeon Dr. Dean Lorich says Bono underwent a five-hour surgery on his elbow in which three plates and 18 screws were inserted on Sunday night. Bono had another surgery to repair a fracture to his left pinkie on Monday. Lorich says Bono will need therapy but a full recovery is expected.

Bono is a launching an all-star campaign featuring "once-in-a-lifetime experiences" like walking the red carpet with Meryl Streep or visiting the "Game of Thrones" set.

in Sports

Royals players get $370K bonus for World Series win


The World Series champion Kansas City Royals generously split up their Fall Classic players' pool haul of more than $25 million into 55 full shares worth $370,069 apiece, Major League baseball said on Monday.

in National

Colorado Planned Parenthood shooting suspect to appear in court


Robert Lewis Dear, 57, is expected to face multiple counts of murder and attempted murder.