Millions of Americans watched as murder suspect George Zimmerman stood trial throughout the month of June and early July.
On July 13, the bombshell dropped that Zimmerman was found not guilty of the second degree murder of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin by a jury of his peers in Florida; the aftermath was explosive, especially on social media.
According to PC Magazine, Facebook removed several pages entitled “Kill George Zimmerman” or “George Zimmerman Must Die” because they violate Facebook’s policy of threats. Similar tweets on Twitter, including one made by Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White, called for Zimmerman’s immediate execution as well.
Many people need to know the difference between opposition and aggression. The verdict impacted many lives, including Martin’s family, Zimmerman’s family, friends of both families, and even Zimmerman himself. Yet all I witnessed the night the verdict was announced to the American public were personal vendettas, open threats and ignorant, borderline insane statements. I see both sides of the argument, and anyone could notice why the public reacted in such a barbaric manner.
This scenario directly affects so many lives, and the American public feels that they are qualified to make a decision on which party is more grief-stricken. To make a balanced opinion, one must look at both sides of the argument, unhindered by ideology or bias.
In this case, we witness a family grieving the death of their teenaged son. They loved him very much, and no parent should ever have to go through such a traumatic experience.
On the other side, we notice a middle-aged man who feared for his life, pulled the trigger on his handgun, and now, suffers the consequences for his actions. He will not spend the rest of his life in prison. Instead, the freedom that he gained will be his imprisonment; he will fear for his life every time he steps out of his residence, wondering if someone will be Martin’s vigilante.
A juror from the trial was interviewed afterward on the CNN news show Anderson Cooper 360. According to a CNN article covering the interview, “She had no doubt he feared for his life in the final moments of his struggle with Trayvon Martin, and that was the definitive factor in the verdict.”
In the interview, Juror B37 said, “I think George Zimmerman is a man whose heart was in the right place, but just got displaced by the vandalism in the neighborhoods, and wanting to catch these people so badly that he went above and beyond what he really should have done.”
This was the concensus the jury came to, whether one thinks it is right or not. That is how America’s judicial system works. I am not saying the process works 100 percent of the time, but then again, no one ever makes the right decision 100 percent of the time.
I am sure a lot of the threats made on social media were hollow; it is easy to make death threats when you can hide behind a computer screen the whole time like a coward. Everyone has their own opinion on this extremely controvercial issue. In many cases, these opinions are blinded by ideology, possible racial prejudice, and personal beliefs.
I am not here to tell you whether your opinion is false or not. Frankly, I decided to remain unbiased on this issue because I am not a judge, a member of the jury, or an executioner. However, if you decide to form an opinion on the Zimmerman trial verdict, please read all the facts before conforming to a blanket statement.