Barbie Perkins-Cooper, Author

Living Life in the Country As A Writer, Photographer

Dearest Readers:

I confess to all of you, I did not glue myself to the George Zimmerman trial. After listening to the case of Casey Anthony, I promised myself I would not sit and watch those types of cases again, nor would I listen to another “not guilty” verdict.

When I heard the story about Trayvon Martin, his murder and the story of George Zimmerman, I decided I had a bit too many compassionate thoughts about this case and it was in my best interest NOT to listen to it, especially after I discovered that the jurors were six white females. As a juror on a few cases in Charleston, SC, I could not imagine how the attorneys chose only white females. Didn’t they need a male and one or two jurors of a different color? Please understand, I am not a racist. I am a white female, but that description of me does not make me a racist. Growing up in the deep South during the Civil Rights Movement, I chose not to be a racist. I believed in the goodness of people, not the color of skin. As a mother, I struggled with this case. The life was taken away of a seventeen-year-old young black man, and I do refer to him as a young man because he was. No, I did not Google Trayvon Martin, to see if he had a criminal record, and I did not Google George Zimmerman. There was enough on the news about him to last for his lifetime.

Nevertheless, there was a life taken during the questionable behavior of George Zimmerman. In my neighborhood, I am a Crime Watch volunteer. I feel blessed that I’ve never had to call 911 – yet, and I pray that in my neighborhood that will continue. I have seen kids, the age of Trayvon Martin, roaming the neighborhood at times…these kids were mostly white, and I recognized them, so I told them they needed to go home, not to get into something that could lead to trouble and heartache for their parents. I ask myself, what would I do in that situation? I have an answer. There was an occasion a few years ago where I heard sirens and noise. My dogs were barking, warning me that something was happening within my community. When the sirens got closer, I heard the gate to my back yard slam hard so, I opened the back door. Much to my horror, there was a police officer next to the back gate, grabbing a bag and a ‘suspect’ — a Latino in my yard. I was told to get back inside. For a few minutes, I was horrified, but the police had the suspect, so I prayed that I would be safe. I phoned the police dispatcher. When she realized, I lived at the premises, she shared the story that a Latino suspect had stolen something and the police were arresting him. I locked the back door. Would I have done something differently if the suspect had entered my home? The back door, at the time, was unlocked. It isn’t unlocked now. And, I have asked myself repeatedly just why George Zimmerman pulled a weapon. Was it necessary to take the life of Trayvon Martin? If he had to shoot, to preserve his own life, why couldn’t he shoot him in a different part of the body? I am not an advocate for guns, so maybe I am not the right person to ask that question, but, as a mother — I cannot imagine losing your child.

I understand there was some discussion during the case about child abuse. Perhaps one of the attorneys was playing the ‘child abuse’ card, but this case was NOT about child abuse…it was about murder…

Now, George Zimmerman is a free man. His freedom has come at a price. I doubt he will ever have FREEDOM. His name is probably mentioned in every household in America. I certainly know the case was a discussion every where I went. I stated on several occasions that I did not believe he would be found guilty.

“Why would you say that?”

“I’ve been on several cases within the court systems of South Carolina. I am one of the jurors that takes lots of notes and when we go into deliberation, I am one who truly voices her opinions about the case.”

Fortunately, I do not live in Sanford, Florida. I was blessed not to be on this case. My heart breaks for the Martin family, and I am curious as to how many jurors will become rich, just from their stories. When the books and movies are scheduled, I do not believe I will purchase, read, or watch. I’ve heard the name George Zimmerman enough. He’s a celebrity of sorts. Personally, I would like him to just fade away into the distance now, and live his life quietly, but I truly doubt that will happen. Just the name “George Zimmerman” gets a reaction.

I haven’t listened to the reactions this morning, and I am hopeful that nothing happens due to the ending of the trial and the words, “Not guilty.”

I said he would be found Not Guilty…basing my beliefs similar to the O. J. Simpson case, and we all know he was found “Not guilty…” but inside of my heart, as I think of Trayvon Martin, and I put myself into the life of a young seventeen-year-old, I believe the situation could be handled a different way. Didn’t the dispatcher of 911 tell Zimmerman not to follow him?

As for George Zimmerman, the free man, I cannot help thinking about how he sleeps at night. Will he continue to be a volunteer for crime? I hope not. I do know he has gained a considerable amount of weight during this trial. Perhaps the stress was a bit much…just think of the Martin Family. They lost a son. Was he innocent? Why was he walking in the neighborhood? I’ve heard these questions over and over again. Why was he wearing a hoodie? The answers — he lived in the neighborhood…it was raining… I do not believe he deserved to die.

Was this a racist situation? In my opinion, I haven’t followed the entire story to answer that question, but I do know that even in the Twenty-first century, racism still exists.

I have no comments for the Trayvon Martin family because I do not understand what they must be experiencing now. Grief? As a parent, I try to place myself in their shoes…What it must be like to lose your child, but I cannot relate. I pray they will find closure now, but how — just how does a parent stop grieving over the loss a child?

George Zimmerman –Not Guilty, I do hope he learned a valuable lesson from this trial, and I hope he will sleep at night and not wander around the neighborhood — looking for trouble — but I doubt it.

2 thoughts on “George Zimmerman — Not Guilty

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