Star witness Rachel Jeantel was exposed to the full brunt of the media despite her young age, and addressed much of the criticism lobbed at her by adults and the media in the wake of her hours of testimony on the night Trayvon Martin died.
They said I was embarrassing them, why?… I’m embarrassing you? I’m fighting for you to make sure nobody do that to your child… and I’m embarrassing you? You should appreciate that.
One issue Jeantel addresses is the lack of coverage of the actual Trayvon Martin. She says if she wants people to know anything, it’s that “Trayvon was not doing nothing,” and that people expected him to “stand there” and let Zimmerman hit him.
“He was a person. That was a human. He had heart. He had love… You judging him out of a picture, saying he a thug… Have you ever spent a day with him? Do you know him? Stop judging.”
Jeantel said she believed Trayvon swung first, after Zimmerman tried to grab him. She indicated she thinks Zimmerman essentially conveyed, “I got you, you coming with me,” and Trayvon fought back.
Of Don West’s treatment of her on the stand, Rachel Jeantel says that West was aware she is physically unable to project her voice due to her underbite, and she says he used that to humiliate her over and over through the course of hours of testimony:
“Don West knows why I cannot speak up. He knows why, and I had told him when we did the interview at first… I told him I have a voice problem. They say it’s my tonsils acting up.”
Of her plans for the future, she says:
My education is first. I am educated. Trust me, I have a 3.0 I’m good. I need to get my life straight because this situation got a whole lot of things in my mind so I want to clear it up.
Watch Rachel Jeantel on Trayvon Martin, her GPA, and whether she was dating him in the clip above.