Hundreds of demonstrators congregated for peaceful protests in L.A and San Francisco on Tuesday night, voicing anger at George Zimmerman’s acquittal Saturday, and support for Martin. No arrests or injuries have been reported so far.
Juror B-37 — who, in an interview Monday, said that Zimmerman’s “heart was in the right place” — has spoken again, adding that she believes he was totally “justified in shooting Trayvon Martin,” while more protestors gathered in California.
Also on Tuesday night, juror B-37, (who cancelled her book deal yesterday) defended Zimmerman’s actions and condemned the unarmed teenager, in part two of her interview on Anderson Cooper 360.
“When George confronted him, and he could have walked away and gone home. He didn’t have to do whatever he did and come back and be in a fight,” the juror said. “Trayvon got mad and attacked him.”
“I believe he [Trayvon] played a huge role in his death,” she added.
When asked about whether Zimmerman’s actions were warranted, she said yes.
“He was justified in shooting Trayvon Martin,” the juror said without hesitation.
But the rest of the jurors issued a statement right after Tuesday’s interview, distancing themselves from B-37’s comments.
“We, the undersigned jurors, understand there is a great deal of interest in this case. But we ask you to remember that we are not public officials and we did not invite this type of attention into our lives,” the statement said. “We also wish to point out that the opinions of Juror B37, expressed on the Anderson Cooper show were her own, and not in any way representative of the jurors listed below.”
Juror B-37 wasn’t the only person making public statements about the Zimmerman verdict yesterday. On Tuesday, Attorney General Eric Holder made a speech to the NAACP in which he repeated his commitment to investigating Martin’s death, also taking the opportunity to slam Florida’s “stand your ground” self-defense laws.
“By allowing—and perhaps encouraging—violent situations to escalate in public, such laws undermine public safety,” Holder said. “It’s time to question laws that senselessly expand the concept of self-defense and sow dangerous conflict in our neighborhoods.”
In a strange new development, a lawsuit against Zimmerman’s prosecutors also appears to be on the table. An ex-employee at the Florida state attorney’s office is reportedly preparing a whistle-blower lawsuit after testifying that the prosecutors failed to turn over evidence he retrieved from Martin’s cellphone to the defense, his lawyer says.
Meanwhile, the two White House petitions calling for civil rights cases against ZImmerman have now gained over 27,000 signatures. They need 100,000 by August in order for the White House to respond.