Yahoo News asked Sanford, Fla., residents and others across the nation to react to the not-guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman case and cultural issues surrounding the trial. Here's one response.
COMMENTARY | Spoiler alert: George Zimmerman was found not guilty of all charges.
In good old American fashion, they interrupted the series finale of "666 Park Avenue" to tell us the news. That the jury deliberated for 15 hours means they at least considered the evidence and charges carefully. But I can't say that I'm personally satisfied with the verdict.
What message does it send? Is it OK now to use lethal force against teenagers? Is it OPK to stalk them as they walk home from a convenience store because it's their fault for "being suspicious," perhaps by the way they dress, or perhaps just their race?
This seems a dangerous precedent to set.
Even giving Zimmerman the benefit of the doubt on self-defense, it's hard to believe there weren't any other options for him to defend himself than to shoot a bullet through a 17-year-old's heart.
President Obama said, "If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon." How many of us have sons -- or brothers, cousins, uncles, friends -- who look like Trayvon?
I hate to think that they could suffer the same fate, with their assaults being justified by law.
While I respect that the jury deliberated long and hard, and I wouldn't want to be in their shoes, I'm disappointed that the decision provides no closure for Trayvon's family. I'm worried that there will be more incidents like this. I'm sad and scared for the people in my life who don't fit the profile of "safe" -- white, clean-cut and therefore non-threatening.
What justice is there in that?
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- George Zimmerman