Trayvon Martin's mother felt 'disgust' over Zimmerman verdict


MIAMI, July 18 (Reuters) - The mother of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teenager shot to death in Florida last year by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, said on Thursday she was "stunned" and felt "disgust" when a jury found her son's killer not guilty.


"I couldn't believe it," Sybrina Fulton told "CBS This Morning." "I just knew that they would see that this was a teenager just trying to get home. This was no burglar." 

On Saturday, a six-woman jury acquitted Zimmerman of second-degree murder and manslaughter in the Feb. 26, 2012, killing of Martin, 17, inside a gated community in the central Florida town of Sanford.

"My first thought was shock, disgust," Fulton said on another TV show, ABC's "Good Morning America." 

"I was stunned absolutely," Fulton told ABC. 

Fulton and Martin's father, Tracy Martin, gave their first interviews on the verdict that has renewed debate about race relations in the United States and cast scrutiny on gun and self-defense laws.  Neither Fulton nor Martin was in the Seminole County courtroom when the verdict was read, although Martin sent a tweet at the time describing himself as "broken hearted."  Martin told ABC that he believed jurors were given little opportunity to know more about their son. 

"They didn't know him as a human being, a fun-loving kid," Martin said. "I just wish they had an opportunity to really know who Trayvon was and to put that in context with what their decision was." 

Zimmerman's acquittal did not alter Martin's belief the U.S. justice system works, he said in an interview aired later on Thursday on CNN.

"We have faith in the system," Martin told CNN. "It didn't work for us, but we remain prayerful that the system - through this injustice - that we can close that gap and hopefully the system can start working for everyone equally." 

A member of the jury that found Zimmerman not guilty has called for changes to Florida's self-defense law, which she said gave jurors no option but to acquit him. 

"My prayers are with all those who have the influence and power to modify the laws that left me with no verdict option other than 'not guilty' in order to remain within the instructions," the juror, identified only as B-37, said in a statement this week. 

According to the judge's instructions to the jury, Zimmerman had "no duty to retreat and had the right to stand his ground and meet force with force" if he reasonably feared for his life or great bodily harm. 

Benjamin Crump, a lawyer for the Martin family, said the parents were considering filing a civil lawsuit against Zimmerman. 

"We are looking at all legal options right now," Crump told CBS. (Reporting by Kevin Gray in Miami and Emily Stephenson in Washington; Editing by Scott Malone, Grant McCool and Peter Cooney)


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation World

‘I’ll never forget the sounds,’ says woman hit in Charlottesville car attack
‘I’ll never forget the sounds,’ says woman hit in Charlottesville car attack

On Tuesday night, Van Jones spoke to Constance -- a woman who survived being hit in the infamous car attack in Charlottesville -- during his “We Rise Against Hate” tour. As she moved onto the stage, still on crutches, she received continuous applause, and Jones asked the audience, “You ever met a hero? You ever seen a hero in real...
County settles lawsuit brought by pepper-sprayed inmate
County settles lawsuit brought by pepper-sprayed inmate

A woman who was pepper sprayed by a corrections officer while strapped into a restraint chair at the Montgomery County jail has settled her lawsuit against the county, according to federal court records. Amber Swink, 25, filed suit in September 2016 alleging civil rights violations, violations of departmental policy and claiming an attempted cover-up...
CNN criticized for labeling white supremacist Richard Spencer a ‘white rights activist’ in headline
CNN criticized for labeling white supremacist Richard Spencer a ‘white rights activist’ in headline

A headline on the website cnn.com this morning called white nationalist Richard Spencer a ‘white rights activist’, wording that led to criticism across social media. Spencer, who has referred to himself as a “white supremacist,” was scheduled to speak at the University of Florida. The university cited safety concerns and canceled...
Research group finds 2-headed turtle
Research group finds 2-headed turtle

The University of Central Florida’s Marine Turtle Research Group found a two-headed turtle in Brevard County during its research Tuesday. >> Read more trending news The group excavates nests three days after the turtles hatch to determine how many eggs were laid and how many hatchlings emerged.  Any straggler turtles are safely...
Timeline: The wild 24 hours of Franklin’s Robert E. Lee Confederate monument 
Timeline: The wild 24 hours of Franklin’s Robert E. Lee Confederate monument 

A Confederate memorial in Warren County was removed in the early morning of Thursday, Aug. 17. Franklin officials determined the Robert E. Lee monument was in a public right of way for Dixie Highway and wanted it to be moved before a Dayton racial justice group’s planned demonstration on Aug. 19. The marker was on a rock at the corner of Hamilton...
More Stories