Trayvon Martin

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George Zimmerman's defense team didn't invoke Florida's "stand your ground" defense in winning his acquittal of murder in last year's shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

But the specter of the 2005 law loomed, inescapably, over the proceedings.

It was inevitable that the racially fraught trial would again catapult Florida's law — which extends protections for the use of deadly force far beyond the traditional bounds of one's home — as well as those in 21-plus states with similar self-defense measures into the nation's consciousness.

Late into the night on Monday, after a round of violent protests ripped through Los Angeles in response to the acquittal of George Zimmerman, Mayor Eric Garcetti called for calm.

The Los Angeles Times reports that by the time the sun came up, at least 13 people had been arrested after police say they began breaking windows and stopping traffic.

Tampa Bay Times

The Stand Your Ground law was in the instructions given to the jury (page 12), which acquitted George Zimmerman for killing Trayvon Martin. But it was among a list of laws in the instructions.

(We added to this post at 7:30 a.m. ET. July 16)

Calm largely prevailed after a jury acquitted George Zimmerman Saturday night in the killing of Trayvon Martin. Law enforcement and community leaders had prepared for potential unrest, and riots had been feared for months. Slate's Dave Weigel sums up the fears:

A few weeks ago, Levar Burton, the actor best-known for his role as Geordi LaForge in Star Trek and the host of the long-running kids' show Reading Rainbow, appeared on a CNN roundtable and offered up a sobering how-to on driving while black:

Months of intense media coverage, weeks of courtroom testimony and hours of jury deliberations boiled down to a not-guilty verdict for George Zimmerman, delivered by a jury of six women late Saturday.

The decision came 17 months after Zimmerman, a self-styled volunteer watchman, fatally shot unarmed black teen Trayvon Martin during a confrontation in a Sanford, Fla., community.

A little more than a day after a jury handed down a not-guilty verdict for George Zimmerman, thousands of people gathered in cities across the country to express their anger and dismay.

We're covering reactions to the Seminole County jury's decision to acquit George Zimmerman.  

Tell us what you think by calling (305) 330-WLRN (9576) or tweet us @WLRN. We'll also be updating this page.  

The acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin is reverberating far beyond Florida. On Sunday, President Obama acknowledged the strong passions the verdict has incited. He asked Americans "to respect the call for calm reflection from two parents who lost their young son."

Many people are trying to make sense of a case that sparked a national conversation on race and gun laws.

After The Verdict: A WLRN Radio Special Report

Jul 14, 2013

Not guilty. That was the verdict reached Saturday night by an all-female jury in the George Zimmerman trial. Reaction to the decision in South Florida, like the rest of the country, has ranged from shock and anger to relief.

RELATED: South Florida Reacts To Verdict In Zimmerman Trial 

George Zimmerman's brother, Robert Zimmerman, Jr., tells NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday that despite the acquittal in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, it will be a "long time" before his brother's life returns to normal.

"Believe me, he is overwhelmed," the elder brother said in an interview with host Rachel Martin. "And now it is time for him to readjust to that concept of being a free man, in every sense of the word."

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

"I'm ashamed at how long it took me to realize why so many people in my family have been consumed with looking church-ready when they step out the door regardless of time or day."

That Facebook quote came from Phyllis Fletcher, an African-American colleague at KUOW in Seattle. And it reminded me of something my sister once told me when a white friend teased her about taking too long to get ready when they went on joint shopping expeditions. "Why are you getting all dressed up? Just throw on some jeans, like me, and let's go."

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