A jury of six women acquitted neighborhood watch coordinator George Zimmerman on Saturday of all charges in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager.
The jurors declined to speak after the verdict was announced, according to a court official. A glimpse of the women – five of whom are white and one of whom is Hispanic – who reached the verdict in the racially fraught case follows.
Juror B29 was the sole Hispanic member on the jury panel. The mother of eight children, all but one younger than 18, works the overnight shift at a nursing home that cares for Alzheimer’s patients. Before recently moving to Florida, she lived in Chicago, where she saw vendors selling T-shirts bearing an image of Martin’s face.
Juror B37 is a mother of two who grew up in a military family and used to have a permit to carry a concealed weapon. She thinks most gun training is inadequate and when asked her thoughts during jury selection on the right to bear arms, she told the judge, “I have an issue with what kind of arms they’re allowed to bear.”
Juror B76 is active in pet rescue and is the mother of two grown children. After working in a family construction business, she now manages family rental properties. She told the judge, “Our family’s pretty open-minded. … We like to base our judgment on the whole story.”
Juror E40 has worked as a safety officer for 20 years. She is the mother of a grown son and recently moved to central Florida from Iowa. She told the judge she believed gun owners needed to realize “there’s a responsibility attached to bear arms.”
Juror E6 is a mother of two who told the judge she transformed news of the shooting into a “teaching moment” that enabled her to talk to her children about “behavior that was safe, not that you’re doing anything wrong, but be proactive … don’t put yourself in harm’s way.” She worked for a short time in financial services but is currently unemployed and enjoys gardening.
Juror B51 is single and retired from her job as a business manager overseeing 1,200 employees at a call center. In her job, she became experienced with changing her mind when presented with new facts. She spends her free time visiting family. After initially hearing news of the shooting, she told the judge, she was surprised that a neighborhood watch program would have someone taking as active a role as Zimmerman. She said Zimmerman was in the wrong when he ignored a dispatcher’s instruction not to follow Martin. “He didn’t wait and the rest. We know what happened,” she said.
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