George Zimmerman Was Found Not Guilty . . . Here are the Four Things You Need to Know
On Saturday night, George Zimmerman was found not guilty in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. Here are the four things you need to know.
1. The jury was made up of six women . . . five were white, one was non-white. They could've found Zimmerman guilty of murder, manslaughter, or not guilty. For murder, they would've had to believe Zimmerman killed Martin with HATE or spite. For manslaughter, they would've had to believe Zimmerman INTENTIONALLY killed Martin, and not out of self-defense.
Ultimately, they didn't believe EITHER, and found him not guilty under Florida's "stand your ground" law, which allows people to use lethal force in self-defense without having to try to run away first.
Legal experts say the prosecution didn't have a particularly strong case against Zimmerman going in . . . and clearly didn't do a great job proving their case in court.
2. Just because Zimmerman was found not guilty, that doesn't necessarily mean he's done with court. He could still be subject to a federal civil rights investigation, and he could face a civil suit for wrongful death from Martin's family. To draw a parallel to the O.J. SIMPSON trial, O.J. was found not guilty of murder . . . but lost a wrongful death civil suit and paid millions to the victims' families. Civil suits are seeking financial compensation, not prison time.
3. There was a TON of backlash to the verdict on Twitter and Facebook . . . and some out in the streets. There were demonstrations in major cities yesterday.
In Oakland, there was some minor violence, with people smashing windows and setting fires.But thankfully, it was nothing compared to the L.A. riots that broke out after the RODNEY KING verdict.
4. Yesterday, PRESIDENT OBAMA spoke about the verdict and asked for, quote, "calm reflection . . . we should ask ourselves if we're doing all we can to widen the circle of compassion and understanding in our own communities."
NFL Wide Receivers Victor Cruz and Roddy White Posted Ignorant Tweets About the George Zimmerman Verdict
If there's an award for Most Ignorant Trayvon Martin-Related Tweet, New York Giants wide receiver VICTOR CRUZ is a serious contender.
After GEORGE ZIMMERMAN was found not guilty, Cruz Tweeted, quote, "Thoroughly confused. Zimmerman doesn't last a year before the hood catches up to him."
But he quickly deleted that Tweet and replaced it with an apology. He said, quote, "I believe conversation, not confrontation leads to change and progress. I never have and never will advocate violence under any circumstance.
"I apologize . . . As a father, I want my daughter to grow up in a country that uses this tragedy to heal and grow and progress."
Cruz wasn't alone, though. Atlanta Falcons receiver RODDY WHITE also put his foot in his mouth. He Tweeted, quote, "All them jurors should go home tonight and kill themselves for letting a grown man get away with killing a kid."
And he apologized, too, saying, quote, "I understand my tweet last nite was extreme. I never meant for the people to do that. I was shocked and upset about the verdict. I am sorry."
Beyoncé Had a Moment of Silence for Trayvon Martin
During her gig in Nashville on Saturday night, BEYONCÉ asked for a moment of silence for Trayvon Martin. Then she sang the chorus of "I Will Always Love You", leading into her own hit, "Halo". (Here's video.)
Obviously, celebrities lit up Twitter with their reactions to the George Zimmerman verdict. Here are some of them .
Rihanna: "A child was gunned down for no reason! And nothing about that sounds like murder? My baby brother is 17, this rocked my whole (stuff). #thesystemisandhasalwaysbeen(effed)"
Diddy: "Plaxico Burress shoots himself and gets 2 years in jail and George Zimmerman is free?"
Nicki Minaj: "What are your thoughts? @BarackObama We're allowed to disregard 911 operators, pursue and kill ppl now? But send lauryn hill to jail 4 TAXES."
Lena Dunham: "No. My heart is with . . . everyone who loved Trayvon and has been sent the message that his life didn't matter."
Mario Lopez: "Hope people don't misbehave after hearing this verdict... Pray for the Martin family."
Josh Groban: "Oh no. Seriously? Crap."
Olivia Wilde: "I feel sick." (Miley Cyrus Tweeted the same thing.)
Michael Moore: "Had a gun-toting Trayvon Martin stalked an unarmed George Zimmerman, and then shot him to death... DO I EVEN NEED TO COMPLETE THIS SENTENCE?"
Kevin Hart: "Zimmerman better be good at playing hide and seek like Bin Laden."
Rainn Wilson: "Hanging out in a gated community with a gun, looking for some suspicious characters today."
Steve Harvey: "A Child is Dead & The Man that Killed Him is Free & Again The Child is Black...My Country Tis of Thee?"
Michael Ian Black: "The only thing that surprised me about the verdict is that juries work on Saturdays."
Donald Trump: "Zimmerman is no angel but the lack of evidence and the concept of self-defense, especially in Florida law, gave the jury little other choice." (Wow . . . a measured and rational response from Trump? Is he okay?)
Ann Coulter: "Hallelujah!"
Chris Rock: "So the police tell you to do something, you ignore them [and] somebody ends up dead. Isn't that in itself a crime."
Larry King: "We have a system that we believe in-the jury system - I wasn't at the scene & nobody reading this was there - only 1 man knows & that's the story."
Meanwhile, rapper Young Jeezy released a Trayvon Martin tribute song called "It's a Cold World