"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.
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.
Originally published on Sun April 22, 2012 9:23 pm
GUY RAZ, HOST:
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.
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.
Originally published on Sun April 8, 2012 11:07 am
RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
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.
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.