SANFORD, Fla. — George Zimmerman, the man accused of murdering Trayvon Martin last year, announced in court through his attorney that he was abandoning his “Stand Your Ground” defense plea and will instead base his defense on the fact that Martin was a black teenager.
Zimmerman’s attorney, Mark O’Mara told Circuit Judge Debra Nelson, “Black teenagers–especially those wearing hoodies–are routinely shot and killed every day, and no one makes a big deal out of it. When it happens in a ‘black’ neighborhood, the police don’t even give the murder the time of day. Why are we making such a fuss about this one?”
O’Mara said that, based on this, he would ask Judge Nelson to reduce Zimmerman’s charge to a misdemeanor.
Prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda admitted that this new tactic was a potential game-changer.
“Zimmerman clearly didn’t have a defense based on ‘Stand Your Ground,’” de la Rionda said, “But there is no denying that Trayvon Martin was a black teenager. Some juries in Florida might find that a compelling argument. Zimmerman might get off with a slap on the wrist, or even a ‘Don’t let that happen again’ warning.’”
Upon hearing about this turn of events, President Obama said that he was “appalled,” adding, “I was a black teenager myself once.”
Zimmerman’s attorney responded, “Around these parts, the President’s statement is called ‘making our case for us.’”