Trayvon Martin‘s parents ‘shocked and disgusted’ by not guilty verdict
Trayvon Martin’s parents said they are shocked and disgusted the jury in George Zimmerman’s trial found him not guilty of murdering their son.
The 29-year-old was acquitted of both second-degree murder and manslaughter on Saturday night after a month-long trial that gripped and divided the nation.
Trayvon’s parents Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, who both testified that their son was screaming for help on a 911 call that was a crucial piece of evidence in the trial, appeared on TV this morning to talk about the verdict.
‘I really didn’t believe that he was not guilty. My first thought was shock, disgust. I think people are forgetting that Trayvon was a teenager so he probably thought as a teenager,’ she told GMA.
‘I really do believe he was afraid because he did call George Zimmerman creepy. So he was afraid and if you are 17 years old and you are afraid, you may not know what to do.’
His father Tracy said: ‘I wish they really knew Trayvon for who he was and knew that he was a kid. They didn’t know him as a human being, a very decent human being, a fun-loving kid. He loved kids.
‘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 parents Robert and Gladys spoke to Barbara Walters this week and issued an apology to the couple. When asked whether he was comforted by the apology, Martin called it a ‘hard and fair question’.
‘There’s no winner in this situation,’ he said said. ‘Obviously, we are devastated more.
‘I just think that all the circumstances surrounding books being written and the mischaracterization of us as parents, I just really don’t feel that it’s real sincere.
‘But we continue to pray that we’ll find peace and strength to be forgiving parents.’
Juror B37 caused outrage this week by appearing on TV to talk about the verdict as it also emerged she had a book deal – which she has since denied.
She told CNN yesterday she wants her normal life back.
‘No other family should be forced to endure what the Martin family has endured,’ she said. ‘My prayers are with Travon’s parents for their loss, as they have always been. I now wish for me and my family to recover from being selected for this jury and return to a normal life.’
She addressed the deal in her statement, saying, ‘As for the alleged “book deal,” there is not one at this time.
‘There was an agreement with a literary agent to explore the concept of a book which discussed the impact of sequestration on my perceptions of this serious case, while being compared to the perceptions of an attorney who was closely following the trial from outside the “bubble,”‘ she added. ‘The relationship with the agent ceased the moment I realized what had been occurring in the world during the weeks of my sequestration.’
Juror B37 made the statements after four other jurors released a statement distancing themselves from her.
‘The opinions of Juror B37, expressed on the Anderson Cooper show were her own, and not in any way representative of the jurors listed below,’ they said in the statement released Tuesday night.
In an effort to maintain their privacy, the four women identified themselves only as B51, B76, E6 and E40. One juror – B29- did not sign the document.
‘Serving on this jury has been a highly emotional and physically draining experience for each of us,’ the statement read.
THE WOMEN BEHIND THE DECISION
THE ONE WHO SPOKE OUT
B-37 is a white woman who is married to an attorney and has two adult children. She said she and her husband used to have concealed weapons permits.
THE ONES WHO STEPPED AWAY
B-51 is retired, unmarried and doesn’t have kids. She has lived in Seminole County for nine years working in real estate.
B-76 is a white woman who has lived in central Florida for 18 years. She manages rental properties with her husband of 30 years. During jury selection, she said she had been the victim of a nonviolent crime. ‘Everyone deserves a fair trial,’ she said.
E-6 is a white woman who is married and has two children. She has worked in financial services and has lived in Seminole County for two years. During jury selection, she said she didn’t know the facts of the case well.
E-40 is a white woman who works as a safety officer and recently moved to Seminole County from Iowa. During jury selection, she said she had been the victim of a nonviolent crime.
THE ONE REMAINING
B-29 recently moved to central Florida from Chicago. She enjoys watching the ‘Real Housewives‘ on television and hadn’t paid much attention to the shooting. A prosecutor described her as ‘black or Hispanic’ during jury selection.
‘The death of a teenager weighed heavily on our hearts but in the end we did what the law required us to do.’
Even though they backed away from juror B37’s claims, all six of the women had to agree on the not guilty verdict before it was announced on Saturday night.
One of her most controversial claims in the Anderson Cooper interview was that Martin ‘played a huge role in his death’.
‘When George confronted him he could have walked away and gone home,’ the woman, identified only as Juror B37, said in the second portion of her post-trial interview.
While she was apologetic to the teenager’s family, she seemed more sympathetic to Zimmerman’s position in the midst of the fight, as opposed to Martin’s own self defense.
‘I have no doubt that George feared for his life,’ she said to CNN’s Anderson Cooper.
‘I’m 101% that he should have done what he did except for the things that he did before,’ she said, referencing Zimmerman’s decision to follow the teenager in his car and, fatefully, get out of the car and confront him.
‘When the end came to the end, he was justified in shooting Trayvon Martin.
‘He started the ball rolling, he could have avoided the whole situation by staying in the car, but he wanted to do good- he had good in his heart, he just went overboard.’
While Zimmerman himself never took the stand in his own defense, video recordings of him explaining the situation to police after the fatal shooting were submitted, effectively giving him the chance to tell his side without leaving himself open to a cross examination.
Cleared: The juror said that she felt that Zimmerman went above the bounds of what he should have done but ‘his heart was in the right place’
That was no matter for the juror: I’m sure there were some fabrications, enhancements, but I think pretty much it happened how he said it happened.’
Initially this unidentified female juror was planning on writing a book about her experience on the trial- and even had a literary agent lined up early Monday afternoon- but after the first portion of her interview was aired that evening she and the agent decided not to follow up.
The second portion of B37’s interview was aired on Tuesday, and she went into more detail about how two specific tact used by the prosecution may have influenced the outcome.
Throughout her interview with Cooper, the woman regularly referred to the neighborhood watchman as George, and though she did call the 17-year-old Trayvon, she admitted that she felt more personally connected to Zimmerman as opposed to Martin.
‘Trayvon wasn’t as well known to us because there wasn’t as much said about him,’ she said.
Cooper brought up the fact that the two legal teams took very different visual approaches when making their closing arguments, with the defense holding up a concrete block like a portion of the sidewalk to show what they contend Martin used to attack. On the opposite end, the prosecution held up the Arizona Iced Tea bottle and a bag of Skittles, saying that was the only thing he was armed with.
‘The Skittles and the Arizona can were ridiculous to even compare it to,’ she said.
‘I believe he hit his head on the concrete, I believe he was trying to slam it…it was definitely enough to make you fear
‘I hope (Zimmerman’s) family can live a normal life after a while. I don’t know how he’s ever going to do that.’
Yesterday it was revealed that the first vote that the six-woman jury took behind closed doors came as a draw, with three wanting to acquit, one ready to charge him with second degree murder and two for manslaughter.
In today’s segment, she made it clear that after hours of discussing the case and the evidence, the group had shifted to be five in favor of acquittal with one hold out.
‘I wanted to find him guilty of not using his senses…you can’t charge him with anything because he didn’t do anything unlawful,’ she said.
Juror B37 went on to sob while saying that she wanted to apologize to the Martin family for the tragedy that they had to go through, but she also had a message for George Zimmerman and his family- after it was revealed yesterday that his parents have been in hiding as well as the former neighborhood watchman and his wife.
‘I hope his family can live a normal life after a while. I don’t know how hes ever going to do that. He’ll never forget but I hope he can,’ she said.
Her interview aired just minutes before four of the remaining five jurors put out a statement saying that they want to remain anonymous and are formally requesting privacy