Trayvon Martin

Obama's Speech Sparks Discussions On Race

Jul 25, 2013
Christopher Dilts / Obama for America

"Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago." President Obama's words have added a new perspective to the discussion about racial attitudes in the wake of George Zimmerman's acquittal in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

The legal defense team for George Zimmerman, the man accused of second-degree murder in the shooting of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, has created a website, Facebook page and Twitter account to protest his interests.

On the day after he was arrested, George Zimmerman officially entered a "not guilty" plea to the charge of second-degree murder in the Feb. 26 death of Trayvon Martin, according to court records now posted online by Florida's 18th Circuit Court.

Just after midnight earlier today, George Zimmerman — the man at the center of a killing that has become a national story because of its racial overtones — was released from the Sanford, Fla., jail where he was being held while awaiting trial.



On Friday, TV audiences got their first taste of the media frenzy that could come with a televised Trayvon Martin trial when a Florida judge granted bail to George Zimmerman. That decision, whether to televise or not, has yet to be made.

Writer John McWhorter thinks it would be a very good thing. And in the latest issue of The New Republic, he argues that it could become a bookend to another famous and racially charged trial: the O.J. Simpson case.

A photograph published by ABC News this morning shows what the network says is the head of George Zimmerman covered in blood. ABC News says the picture was taken minutes after Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin to death.

The 28-year-old neighborhood watch volunteer is charged with second-degree murder in the shooting, but he has maintained that he shot Martin, who was unarmed and on his way back from buying candy and tea, in self defense.

UPDATE at 11:10 a.m. EST:

Judge Kenneth Lester says George Zimmerman can go free as he awaits trial if he posts a $150,000 bail.

Lester said as a condition of his release, Zimmerman would be electronically monitored, could have no contact with Trayvon Martin's family and would be prohibited from possessing firearms or using alcohol. He will also be on a curfew and have to check in every three days.

The judge said once he is assured that security measures have been met, Zimmerman will be freed.

Florida state attorney Angela Corey, who is acting as a special prosecutor in the high-profile shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin, has scheduled a 6 p.m. ET news conference to "release new information" regarding the case, her office just announced.

Shortly after we learned Tuesday that George Zimmerman's lawyers said they had lost contact with their client and were withdrawing from the case, there was an announcement from special prosecutor Angela Corey's office that she would be making an announcement about the case within 72 hours

The special prosecutor investigating the Feb. 26 shooting death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin announced this morning she will not be taking the case to a grand jury this week.



From Tulsa, we move our focus back to the city of Sanford, Florida, where Trayvon Martin, an unarmed African-American teen, was shot and killed six weeks ago by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman. The constant spotlight has brought the issue of race to the forefront, and with it some tense moments in that Florida community. NPR's Kathy Lohr spent the last week in Sanford and has this story.

Opinion about the Trayvon Martin shooting is sharply divided by race, a new USA Today/Gallup poll finds.

The divide is clear, when pollsters asked if George Zimmerman, the Neighborhood Watch volunteer who shot and killed the black, unarmed teenager, was guilty of a crime.

A little more than half of the African Americans polled said he was "definitely guilty," while only 15 percent of non-blacks shared the same opinion.

The poll also found:

Two of America's best-known companies, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, have dropped their memberships in the American Legislative Exchange Council, a low-profile conservative organization behind the national proliferation of "stand your ground" gun laws.