Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Martin parents 'stunned' by Zimmerman acquittal

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The parents of Trayvon Martin spoke out publicly Thursday for the first time since the end of the George Zimmerman trial, saying they were "stunned" by the defendant's acquittal on second-degree murder charges in the killing of their son.

"I was stunned. Absolutely. I couldn't believe it," Sybrina Fulton told CBS This Morning.

Fulton and Tracy Martin spoke to the three network TV news programs.

In the three-week trial, prosecutors had accused the 29-year-old Zimmerman of profiling the unarmed 17-year-old, who was black. Defence attorneys argued Zimmerman had acted in self-defence.

Fulton told CBS she was "in a bit of shock" after Saturday's verdict. "I thought surely that he would be found guilty of second-degree murder."

Speaking to ABC's Good Morning America, Martin said they did not find the verdict fair, "and of course it's devastating."

"My first thought was shock, disgust," said Fulton.

Asked on NBC's Today if he thought race was a factor in his son's death, Martin responded: "Obviously, any time you have a person that makes an assumption that a person is up to no good, there is some type of profiling. Was he racially profiled? I think that if Trayvon had been white, this wouldn't have ever happened. Obviously race is playing some type of role."

Fulton told NBC the case is "sending a terrible message to other little black and brown boys -- that you can't walk fast, you can't walk slow. So what do they do? I mean, how do you get home without people knowing or assuming that you're doing something wrong? Trayvon wasn't doing anything wrong."

CBS asked Martin for his reaction to comments from Juror B-37 to CNN she believes the teen played a "huge role" in his own death.

"I don't think she knows Trayvon," Fulton told CBS. "Trayvon is not a confrontational person."

Asked on Today whether they may ever forgive Zimmerman, Martin responded: "Forgiveness is like a healing process. Forgiveness takes time."

They did not indicate whether they plan to file a civil lawsuit in the February 2012 death, but did express support for a probe by federal officials who are weighing possible criminal civil rights charges against Zimmerman.

-- USA Today

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 19, 2013 A18

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