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Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Trayvon’s Dad Tracy Martin ‘Still in Disbelief’ Over Zimmerman Acquittal

trayvonparents_july18Tracy Martin, father of slain teen Trayvon Martin, said on NBC’s “Today” that he was “still in disbelief” that a six-woman jury acquitted George Zimmerman in the murder of his son five days ago.

“I’m still shocked,” said Martin, who was joined on the show by Trayvon’s mother Sabrina Fulton, his brother Jahvaris Fulton, and their attorney Ben Crump. “I’m still in disbelief. We felt in our hearts that we were going to get a conviction. We thought that the killer of our unarmed child was going to be convicted of the crime that he committed.”

Trayvon’s family made the rounds on Thursday morning, appearing on NBC’s “Today,” CBS’s “This Morning” and ABC’s “Good Morning America,” talking about their reaction to the verdict and their feelings about the protests across the country, a few in California having turned violent.

“I don’t understand if they were looking at it from Trayvon’s point of view because he was a teenager,” Sabrina Fulton said about the jurors. “He was scared.”

On CBS, Tracy Martin told host Charlie Rose that “I want America to know that Trayvon was a fun-loving child. He was our child. We miss him dearly.”

“I thought surely that he would be found guilty of second degree murder — manslaughter at the least,” Fulton added. “I just knew that they would see that this was a teenager just trying to get home. This was no burglar. This was somebody — somebody’s son that was trying to get home.”

Asked what the wanted to see President Obama do now, Fulton said she would hope the federal government would “at least investigate” what happened.

“We would like for the federal government to look into it and weigh all of the options,” Martin said.  ”As parents we just feel that there could’ve been something more done.”

“As parents, the understanding how they reached the verdict — I’ll never grasp that concept,” Martin said. “We didn’t think it was fair.”

“I think that if Trayvon had been white, this wouldn’t have never happened,” Martin told NBC.

Crump faulted the prosecution for not pushing the thought of what might have happened “if the roles were reversed,” but he did say they were happy that at least the state brought charges against Zimmerman in the first place.

Asked about anti-Zimmerman protests, some of which have grown violent, Fulton insisted that protests remain peaceful.

“We have always maintained to do things decent and in order, and we think the protests should be peaceful protests,” she said. “We’re not saying for them not to protest because they have a right to protest; they have a right to be heard. We just want to make sure that it is peaceful, that nobody gets hurt, that nobody gets arrested, that you don’t damage your own property.”

As far as the comments of juror B37, who said she didn’t think race was a factor, Tracy Martin said, “Obviously anytime you have a person who makes an assumption that a person is up to no good, there’s some type of profiling going on there. Was he racially profiled? I think that if Trayvon had been white this wouldn’t have never happened. So, obviously race is playing some type of role.”

Asked if it was right for Zimmerman to now have to live in hiding, Fulton said, “We sit in the victim’s seat. Is this the intent for the justice system to have for victims? I mean, it’s sending a terrible message to little black and brown boys that you can’t walk fast, you can’t walk slow.”

Meanwhile, jury consultant Robert Hirschhorn, who consulted with the Zimmerman defense team, told USA TODAY that the six-woman jury was exactly what he wanted because he believes women are better listeners, less judgmental, and would more easily understand the fear Zimmerman felt when he shot Trayvon.

“I wanted to make sure we were going to get jurors that would follow what the court of law required not what the court of public opinion wanted,” Hirschhorn said. “My number one goal was to get fair jurors that would really be able to listen to the evidence and decide the case on facts and law not emotion.”

Hirschhorn, who is based in Lewisville, Texas, was brought in by Zimmerman defense attorney Don West. Hirschhorn, who has worked on the trial of Enron founder Kenneth Lay convicted of fraud and conspiracy, as well as New York millionaire Robert Durst, acquitted of killing and dismembering his elderly neighbor - was in court every day until the jury was picked.

He told USA Today that he was most concerned about two things: guns and honesty. He said juror B-37, the first one to publicly speak in an interview with CNN, was actually his second favorite choice for the jury because she was a former concealed-weapons permit holder and seemed truthful. He had decided to eliminate people with anti-gun stances.

Who was his favorite choice? A black man who was a gun owner and who frequently watched FOX News. But the state eliminated him.

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About Nick Chiles

Nick Chiles is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and New York Times bestselling author. He has written or co-written 12 books and won over a dozen major journalism awards during a journalism career that brought him to the Dallas Morning News, the Star-Ledger of New Jersey and New York Newsday, in addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief of Odyssey Couleur travel magazine.

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