Four of the jurors at the George Zimmerman trial are distancing themselves from statements that another juror made in a televised interview.
The four jurors issued a statement late Tuesday that the opinions expressed by Juror B37 to CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Monday night are not representative of their views.
They say Juror B37 was only speaking for herself.
George Zimmerman had been charged with second—degree murder in the fatal shooting of 17—year—old Trayvon Martin last year, but a jury of six women found him not guilty of that charge as well as the lesser charge of manslaughter.
Juror B37 said the actions of the neighbourhood watch volunteer and Trayvon Martin both led to the teenager’s fatal shooting, but that Mr. Zimmerman didn’t actually break the law.
The four jurors’ statement says Martin’s death weighed heavily on their hearts and that the trial was physically draining for them. But they say they did what the law required them to do.
They also made a request for privacy. The court has not released the names of the six—woman jury.
“People all across the country will gather to show that we are not having a two— or three—day anger fit. This is a social movement for justice,” Rev. Al Sharpton said as he announced the plan outside the Justice Department in Washington, D.C.
The rallies and vigils will occur in front of federal court buildings at noon on Saturday in cities including Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia and New York.
Martin was visiting his father and returning to the home of his father’s fiancee after a trip to the store when Mr. Zimmerman identified him as a potential criminal. The neighbourhood watchman fatally shot Martin during a physical confrontation in the gated community in February 2012.
Sharpton says vigils will be followed by a conference next week in Miami to develop a plan to address Florida’s “stand—your—ground” law. The law gives people wide latitude to use deadly force if they fear death or bodily harm.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said such laws, which exist in many states, need to be reassessed.
“Separate and apart from the case that has drawn the nation’s attention, it’s time to question laws that senselessly expand the concept of self—defense and sow dangerous conflict in our neighbourhoods,” Holder said during a speech before a convention of the NAACP civil rights group.
Meanwhile, protests over Mr. Zimmerman’s acquittal have broken out as far away as California.
In Los Angeles, people ran through streets Monday night, breaking windows, attacking people on sidewalks and raiding a Wal—Mart store, while others blocked a major freeway in the San Francisco Bay area in the third night of demonstrations.
Fourteen people were arrested after multiple acts of vandalism and several assaults in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles police vowed on Tuesday to crack down with quick action and arrests if further disturbances arise. Demonstrators must remain on sidewalks Tuesday night and will be arrested if they commit any crimes or block traffic, police said.
“For those of you who were here last night and came for the wrong reasons, if you come here again tonight, you will go to jail,” police Chief Charlie Beck said at a news conference.
The Justice Department has said it is looking into Martin’s death to determine whether federal prosecutors will file criminal civil rights charges against Mr. Zimmerman, who is now a free man. His lawyer has told ABC News that Mr. Zimmerman will get his gun back and intends to arm himself again.
The key to charging Mr. Zimmerman lies in whether evidence exists that he was motivated by racial animosity to kill Martin. While Martin’s family has said the teen was racially profiled, no evidence surfaced during the state trial that Mr. Zimmerman had a racial bias.
Mr. Zimmerman’s friends and family have repeatedly denied he harbored racial animosity toward blacks. Florida did not use its own hate crime laws against Mr.Zimmerman.