Zimmerman Trial Begins, Jury Selection Becomes A Question Of Race

As George Zimmerman’s trial in the killing of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin back in 2012 finally gets underway in Florida, jury selection and the makeup of the 12 men and women that will decide the shooter’s fate has become a hot topic in legal circles.

Benjamin Crump is an attorney for the family of Trayvon Martin, and Crump says George Zimmerman’s trial indeed is a larger indictment of civil rights issues in America.

Crump says that failure on the part of police in Sanford to immediately arrest Zimmerman is what catapulted the case to national outrage levels, and as jury selection begins, he tells ABC:

“It became a civil rights matter the night the Sanford Police made a decision not to arrest the killer of an unarmed teenager … It doesn’t matter if he’s black, white, brown or red. You cannot have people killing unarmed teenagers and allowed to go home and sleep in their bed at night.”

Crump continued:

“Had Trayvon Martin shot an unarmed George Zimmerman, he would have been arrested day one, hour one, moment one. He could have said stand your ground, he could have said self-defense, he could have said whatever he wanted to say, he was going to be arrested that night.”

Tracy Martin, father of Trayvon, echoed the sentiments of Crump as his son’s killer prepared to stand trial. The elder Martin said:

“Had Trayvon pulled the trigger and killed George Zimmerman, I’m sure he would have been convicted … And we’re looking for justice for our son’s killer.”

Martin added that no matter the outcome of the trial, the family has suffered tremendously following the teen’s killing:

“I have no choice but to be ready for it. I feel that my son and my family has already taken the worst blow we could take – my son was killed. My son was taken away from us. You can’t do anything worse to us.”

Judge Deborah Nelson will not allow the six jurors eventually selected for the Zimmerman trial to be named in the press, but the jury will also not be sequestered — meaning that at the conclusion of court each day, they will be allowed to return home.