The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

July 15, 2013

Verdict 'disappointment' to local leader

Staff Report
The Daily Star

---- — The acquittal of George Zimmerman was a “disappointment,” a local civil rights advocate said Sunday.

Zimmerman, who identifies himself as Hispanic, was found not guilty of second-degree murder in last year’s death of Trayvon Martin, who was black. 

Despite Zimmerman’s statements that his actions were in self-defense, Regina Betts of Worcester said Martin was profiled and Zimmerman could have waited for police.

“Zimmerman was a vigilante,” Betts said. “He became judge and executioner of this young man.”

The jury had the option to consider manslaughter but declined to convict him of the lesser charge. The six jurors considered nearly three weeks of testimony and delivered the verdict late Saturday night after two days and a total of 15 hours of deliberations. 

Betts, vice president of the Oneonta Chapter of the NAACP chapter and political action chairwoman, said the local group hadn’t met to consider a position on the verdict.

But usually the local chapter supports efforts by the national leadership, said Betts, who personally encourages participating in the effort seeking further action by the U.S. Department of Justice.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is asking the Department of Justice to file civil rights charges against Zimmerman, and a petition is posted on the NAACP website.