Friday, July 19, 2013



*  Special  thanks to "Google Images", "CNN", "Reuters", "The Associated Press",
"USA Today", "The Chicago Tribune", "The Los Angeles Times", "The Gainesville Sun" 
Los Angeles "Daily News", "Wikipedia", and our cartoon artists for being with the group this week. 

by Felicity Blaze Noodleman
Los Angeles, CA

The events of this week have truly been news worthy and bear scrutiny in their proper context and entirety.  We here at Noodleman are looking at the "Big Picture" - "Examining The Box" - and "Bringing Together" all of the issues from our "Group" of news and documentary sources. Once again it’s time to assert our First Amendment Rights and write about the recent events surrounding the George Zimmerman Trial in Florida.  

Noodleman was not covering or paying much attention to this court case as it unfolded;  after all it was being tried in a court of law which is exactly where it belonged and not in the court of public opinion which usually is not privy to all the facts and law.   This court  is not governed by justice. Unfortunately the jury acquittal of Mr. Zimmerman has produced rioting and mob violence in the streets across the nation by largely African Americans protesters which hearkens back to the days of mob rule.

Hundreds of activists demand justice for Trayvon Martin after marching to Times Square from New York's Union Square July 14, 2013.  (Credit: Reuters/Adrees Latif)   Thousands of demonstrators demanding "Justice for Trayvon" marched in major cities across the United States on Sunday to protest the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin.

This article will examine the verdict in this case and the insuring protesting and violence across the country.  Beginning to understand the verdict of acquittal in a case like this is the starting point and the key for justice in the United States.  In the CNN article “All-Female Jury To Try Zimmerman”, the complex process jury selection is covered.  In our legal system understanding the jury process will explain the verdict in any jury trial.  Our initial concern was to examine the jury make up in this case and verify the racial balance was in compliance with the law.

People shout at motorcycle officers on Crenshaw Boulevard in Los Angeles on Tuesday, July 16, 2013. Crowds gather to protest the George Zimmerman acquittal while a heavy presence of LAPD officers patrol the area around Leimert Park at the intersection of Crenshaw Boulevard and Vernon. (John McCoy/Staff Photographer)

Next we turn to “USA Today” article “George Zimmerman Found Not Guilty”.   Here we learn the jury’s thinking which ultimately led this jury to acquit Mr. Zimmerman and comments from his attorneys.  Weather we agree or not with this jury we must remember that under our laws the jury has a responsibility to the defendant.  Guilt must be determined based on “any reasonable doubt”.  It is no exaggeration to say that many defendants of all races have been acquitted for this very same reason and under the same circumstances!

People have once again taken it upon themselves to protest turning to mob violence in the street as a result of the Zimmerman verdict.  Society’s Constitutional Rights . . . the right to the “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” as stated in the “Declaration of Independence” and our Civil Rights guaranteed by the "Bill of Rights"  has been trodden under foot by thugs and criminals who assault the lives and property of all races!  

How many times have we seen African Americans take the law into their own hands under the banner of “Civil Disobedience” ironically  asserting their Civil Rights?  Too many times to count. This behavior is nothing more than anarchy against the people of the United States and its Democratically elected Government. 

America seems to be plagued with such events from African Americans who wish to bully the nation into accepting their agenda.  “Thousands Protest Zimmerman Verdict Across US”  from “The Chicago Tribune”, “The Los Angeles Times” as reported by “Reuters” news service reports on the rioting.

We wanted to know a little more about the shooting victim Trayvon Martin and some basic information about the youth.   We found a brief Bio from Wikipedia:


Trayvon Benjamin Martin

February 5, 1995
Florida, U.S.
Died February 26, 2012 (aged 17)
Sanford, Florida, U.S.
Cause of death Single gunshot fired at intermediate range (1-18 inches)
Ethnicity African American
5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight 158 pounds (72 kg)

Trayvon Benjamin Martin (February 5, 1995 – February 26, 2012) was the son of Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, who were divorced in 1999. He was a junior at Dr. Michael M. Krop High School and lived with his mother and older brother in Miami Gardens, Florida. Trayvon's English teacher, Michelle Kypriss described him as an A and B student who majored in cheerfulness.

On the day Martin was fatally shot, he and his father were visiting his father's fiancée and her son at her townhome in The Retreat at Twin Lakes in Sanford, a multi-ethnic gated community, where the shooting occurred. Martin had visited his father's fiancée at Twin Lakes several times.

Martin had been suspended from school at the time of his death. He had been suspended twice before. One suspension was for tardiness and truancy. Another suspension in October 2011 was for graffiti, when Martin was observed by a security camera in a restricted area of the school marking up a door with "W.T.F." When he was later searched by a Miami-Dade School Police Department officer, looking for the graffiti marker, the officer found several pieces of women's jewelry in his backpack, which Martin said a friend had given to him. A screwdriver was also found, which was described by the school police investigator as a burglary tool. The jewelry was impounded and given to the police, but no evidence ever surfaced to indicate that the jewelry was stolen. Martin's third suspension involved a marijuana pipe and an empty bag containing marijuana residue.

Martin was not charged with any crime related to these incidents and did not have a juvenile record. Judge Nelson ruled that the defense may have access to Martin's records, including the details of these suspensions, as well as access to Martin's social media sites, but ruled they will not be admissible as evidence during the trial unless they can be shown to be relevant.

Finally;  we take a look at the prescribed procedure to redress our grievances in a case like the Zimmerman verdict from “Reuters and The Los Angeles Times” in “NAACP Convention Seeks Federal Charges Against Zimmerman”.   Mob violence has never produced a good outcome and is a poor solution for due course under the law.  Until something better comes along and we are able to make improvements in our legal system this process will have to do.  This has been Felicity for the Noodleman Group.

Joe Heller, Green Bay Press-Gazette

All-Female Jury To Try Zimmerman

Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Trayvon Martin.

By Graham Winch,
updated 4:04 PM EDT, Sun June 23, 2013

(CNN) -- An all-female jury will start hearing the murder case against Florida neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman next week, with opening arguments in the closely watched trial set for Monday.

The jury was selected Thursday afternoon after defense attorney Mark O'Mara completed his question-and-answer session with the potential jurors. Opening statements are scheduled to begin Monday morning, Judge Debra Nelson said Thursday.

The prosecuting and defense attorneys referred to the jury members as five white women and one black or Hispanic woman. CNN does not have access to the juror questionnaires and cannot confirm the ethnicities of the jurors.

Four alternate jurors -- two women and two men -- will hear the case as well. Nelson asked Zimmerman if he agreed with the jurors selected to serve on the panel, and he said he did.


George Zimmerman Found Not Guilty

Free To Go: George Zimmerman stands as the judge prepares to announce his not guilty verdict in the killing of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.  (Getty Images)

Yamiche Alcindor, USA TODAY 8:25 p.m. EDT July 14, 2013

The case had captured the nation's attention.

SANFORD, Fla. -- George Zimmerman, the man accused of murdering Trayvon Martin, was found not guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter Saturday night.

The verdict is the culmination of a case that captured the nation's attention and will undoubtedly be imprinted in America's history. For Zimmerman, it means trying to recapture his life after he was at the center of a national maelstrom over racial profiling, state gun laws and what constitutes self-defense.

The not guilty verdict means the jury of six women, after deliberating for more than 15 hours over two days, found that Zimmerman justifiably used deadly force. They determined that he reasonably believed that such force was "necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm" to himself — Florida's definition of self-defense.

Zimmerman showed no emotion as the verdict was read. After the verdict was read, he smiled slightly and shook hands with one of his lawyers.

The unidentified jurors decided Zimmerman didn't "intentionally commit an act or acts that caused death" or demonstrate a "depraved mind without regard for human life" -- Florida's definitions of manslaughter and second-degree murder, respectively.

In a press conference after the verdict, Zimmerman attorney Mark O'Mara said his client will now need to get on with his life.

Mark O'Mara and Don West, the attorneys for George Zimmerman, said they were satisfied that justice had been served when the jury reached a not guilty verdict.

"I think he's going to be great. I think he is still worried. Hopefully everyone will respect the jury's verdict," O'Mara said.

He offered his sympathies to Trayvon's parents for the loss of their son. But he said despite the national protests that erupted after the shooting, the case had nothing to do with civil rights.

Zimmerman's brother, Robert, told CNN's Piers Morgan that his brother was processing the reality that he is free.

"He has some decompressing to do," he said. "Our family was emotional. We are exonerated as a family and George is exonerated as a defendant. It's going to take us some time to heal."

For all the euphoria on Zimmerman's team, prosecutors and Trayvon's family faced a huge letdown. Trayvon's parents were not in the courtroom when the verdict was read.

Assistant State Attorney Bernie De La Rionda responds to a question about self-defense after a not guilty verdict was reached in the trial of George Zimmerman.

Trayvon's father, Tracy, posted on Twitter, "Even though I am broken-hearted, my faith is unshattered. I will always love my baby Tray ... even in his death I know my baby proud of the FIGHT we along with all of you put up for him."

The family's attorney Benjamin Crump thanked all the protesters nationwide who "put their hoodies up and to everybody who said, 'I am Trayvon.' " He urged supporters to remain peaceful, despite the verdict.
Lead prosecutor Bernie De la Rionda said, "I am disappointed in the verdict but I respect it. We accept the jury's verdict."

State Attorney Angela Corey said the case was a challenge. But she said, "That scream stops when the shot was fired and we always believed it wasTrayvon Martin."

Outside the courtroom, demonstrators who supported Trayvon stood in stunned silence. But legal analysts say they were not surprised by the verdict because the prosecution did not prove its case.

"The prosecution had no clear narrative, witnesses that appeared poorly prepared, and at the end of the day, this is more of a loss by the prosecution than a win by the defense," criminal attorney Darren Kavinoky said.
Susan Constantine, a jury consultant and body language expert who attended Zimmerman's trial regularly, said the verdict meant there was reasonable doubt. "They just could not put the pieces together," she said.

The case has gripped the nation since the shooting happened on Feb. 26, 2012. Police initially did not charge Zimmerman with a crime, citing Florida's "stand-your-ground" law, which allows someone who believes they are in imminent danger to take whatever steps are necessary to protect themselves.

A man wears a bullet around his neck during a Los Angeles rally on July 15 after George Zimmerman's acquittal in the shooting death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin.  Frederic J. Brown, AFP/Getty Images
Protests ensued in several cities, including New York, by supporters of Trayvon's family. Many protesters voiced the opinion that Trayvon was targeted and killed for racial reasons. Trayvon, 17, was black and Zimmerman is Hispanic.

"You have a little black boy who was killed," said Benjamin Crump, an attorney for the parents of Trayvon. "It's going to be reported in history books and 50 years from now, our children will talk about Trayvon Martin's case like we talk about Emmett Till."

Emmett Till, a 14-year-old black young man, was tortured, grossly disfigured and murdered in 1955 in Mississippi after being accused of flirting with a white woman.

In Zimmerman's case, State Attorney Corey stepped in and charged Zimmerman with murder on April 11, 2012. Prosecutors never argued that Zimmerman racially profiled the teen and instead said the teen was profiled as a criminal.

The five-week trial of Zimmerman, held in the same Florida city where Trayvon was killed, brought the facts of the case under a nationally televised spotlight, with every moment captured on camera. More than 50 witnesses testified, and when deliberations began Friday afternoon, the jury requested a list of the plethora of evidence that lawyers presented.

Some of the items include several statements Zimmerman gave to police, Trayvon's autopsy report and photos of both Zimmerman's injuries and Trayvon's body. Witnesses included forensic experts who testified about the angle at which Trayvon was shot, the position Zimmerman's gun may have been in, and where DNA and blood was found.

Other witnesses offered conflicting statements about how the fight happened, who had the upper hand when Zimmerman fired the shot and who was screaming for help in a 911 call recording.
The defense called nine people -- including both of Zimmerman's parents -- to testify that the screams belonged to Zimmerman. Both of Trayvon's parents and his brother all said Trayvon was screaming moments before he was shot.

In at times riveting detail, prosecutors tried their best to convince jurors that Zimmerman was a killer who "tracked" Trayvon, an innocent teenager, and murdered him before police arrived.

"That child had every right to be afraid of a strange man following him," prosecutor John Guy told jurors before they began deliberations. "This case isn't about standing your ground. It's about staying in your car."
Zimmerman attorney O'Mara cast Trayvon as the aggressor, saying the teen may have been charged with aggravated battery had he survived the shooting. Trayvon, instead of going home, likely hid, waited for Zimmerman and confronted him, the lawyer said.

Elizabeth Parker, a former prosecutor who is now a criminal defense attorney in Palm Beach, Fla., said the defense did a good job of humanizing Zimmerman .

"The defense did a phenomenal job of presenting their case through the state's witnesses," Parker said. "They were able to get George Zimmerman's testimony in through several witnesses --sparing him from having to undergo vigorous cross-examination by these bulldog prosecutors."

One such is example was the testimony of Sanford police officer Christopher Serino, called by the state and later the defense, Parker said. Serino agreed with prosecutors that Zimmerman may have been profiling Trayvon but said no physical evidence or witness statements contradicted Zimmerman's claim of self-defense and that the medical examiner's report supported Zimmerman's version of events.

Now that the verdict is in, Zimmerman is a free man. But he may have to go into hiding and be unable to live a normal life for some time, said Jose Baez, the defense attorney who successfully defended Casey Anthony, a Florida mother accused of killing her daughter in a high-profile capital murder case.

"The end is not near for George Zimmerman," he said.

"USA Today"

Thousands Protest Zimmerman Verdict Across U.S.

Protesters demonstrating against the George Zimmerman verdict march towards Times Square in New York, July 14, 2013. The fallout over the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin reverberated across the country on Sunday.  (Photo: Jabin Botsford)  Minneapolis, MN 55488

By Victoria Cavaliere
NEW YORK | Mon Jul 15, 2013 12:16pm EDT

(Reuters) - Thousands of demonstrators demanding "Justice for Trayvon" marched in major cities across the United States on Sunday to protest the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin.
While a jury of six women absolved Zimmerman of any crime with their not-guilty verdict, civil rights leaders decried the decision, and demonstrators took to the streets in New York, Boston, San Francisco and other cities.
U.S. President Barack Obama called for a peaceful response to the case that has polarized the U.S. public over the past 16 months. In general, the demonstrations were peaceful, though the New York march became disorderly at times, and in Los Angeles protesters blocked a major highway.
Defense lawyers argued that Martin, 17, attacked Zimmerman, who shot the teen in self-defense. Prosecutors said Zimmerman, 29, who is white and Hispanic, wrongly suspected Martin of being a criminal because he was black.
Zimmerman called police to report a suspicious looking person, then left his car with a fully loaded Kel Tec 9mm pistol concealed in his waistband. A fight ensued in which Zimmerman suffered a bloody nose and head injuries, and then shot Martin once in the heart, killing him.
"Trayvon was profiled, pursued and ultimately killed because of the color of his skin," said Angela Tovar, 33, an urban planner from Brooklyn.
About 1,000 to 2,000 of the demonstrators abandoned the protest site at Union Square to march in the streets toward Times Square, slowing or stopping traffic.
Police attempted to funnel the crowd into controlled lanes but were unable to. Later they halted the march about eight blocks short of Times Square, but the demonstrators made their way around the officers.
About 1,000 people sat in Times Square, drawing curious looks from the tourists who packed the so-called Crossroads of the World.
The protest was lively, led by several men on bullhorns.
The Los Angeles protest stopped traffic for about 25 minutes, prompting police to issue a citywide tactical alert, the Los Angeles Times reported.
In Boston, about 500 racially mixed protesters left their demonstration site in the Roxbury neighborhood and started marching in the streets alongside police escorts on motorcycles and on foot. Police called the march "very orderly."
"Morally it cannot be right, that a child cannot go about his business and go to the store," said Maura Twomey, 57, an acupuncturist. "Racism is not just an issue for the black community. It's for all of us."
Demonstrators raised signs saying "We Demand Justice," "Stop Racial Profiling" and "Never Forget. Never Again. Justice for Trayvon."
Roughly 500 people rallied on the streets of San Francisco, some carrying yellow signs with Martin's photo. About a dozen police motorcycles and vans trailed the tidy group of marchers, who banged on drums as they walked and continuously chanted, "Justice for Trayvon Martin."
"I feel a moral obligation to be in the street and object to this kind of racist policy," said Naomi White, 69, a retired teacher from San Francisco. "George Zimmerman got away with murder."
(Additional reporting by Adrees Latif in New York, Ross Kerber in Boston and; Editing by Daniel Trotta and Christopher Wilson)

People from the local community, members of the Dream Defenders at University of Florida and other social groups march down the stairs away from the Department of Justice office in the Commerce Building, after a march from the Bo Diddley Downtown Community Plaza to the Department of Justice, in Gainesville, Monday, July 15, 2013 to demand that the justice department file charges against George Zimmerman, who was found not guilty in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. (AP Photo/Gainesville Sun, Brad McClenny)

NAACP Convention Seeks Federal Charges Against Zimmerman

ORLANDO --  U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder spoke Tuesday to thousands of attendees at the NAACP Convention in Orlando, just one day after calling Trayvon Martin's death a "tragic, unnecessary shooting.“  U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder speaks at the annual NAACP convention at the Orange County Convention Center, in Orlando, Tuesday, July 16, 2013.

Chicago Tribune staff and wire reports
Reuters and the Los Angeles Times

12:09 p.m. CDT, July 16, 2013

The not guilty verdict in the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin has reshaped a black civil rights convention in Orlando, Florida where delegates are calling for federal charges following a trial they say failed to serve justice.

The civil rights activists were gathering for the annual convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) just 30 minutes drive from where the murder trial took place when the jury issued its decision on Saturday night.

The verdict by a nearly all-white jury of six women in the trial of former neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman reverberated around the country and rocked the convention of 3,000 national, state and local officers and members.

Speeches were hastily re-written, agendas altered and conversation in the halls re-focused.

More than 800,000 people have signed an online petition of the NAACP asking U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to file civil rights charges against Zimmerman, the association said on Monday.

"It was like an atomic bomb dropped," said Michael Edwards, 55, a union official and NAACP member from St. Louis.

Today the convention will hear from Holder, who on Monday called the death of Martin, an unarmed black teenager, "unnecessary," raising questions about whether he believed Zimmerman, acted in self-defense.

"The Justice Department shares your concern," Holder said, triggering an enthusiastic response from some 14,000 black sorority members at a Washington convention center.

The Justice Department said it would reopen its investigation into the case to determine whether any civil rights laws had been violated by the state court handling it.
Unless federal prosecutors can present new evidence that suggests racial malice motivated Zimmerman, who is white and Hispanic, they are unlikely to pursue charges, lawyers with expertise in civil rights said.

State and federal courts generally have the same threshold for a criminal conviction: a finding of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt by a unanimous jury, or by a judge if a defendant waives a jury trial.

By finding Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder, the Seminole County jury rejected the charge that Zimmerman acted with ill will, spite or hatred.

The law federal prosecutors would most likely use against Zimmerman was passed in 2009 to target hate crimes. It requires that prosecutors prove that someone caused bodily injury "because of the actual or perceived race" of the victim, a bar that while straightforward can be hard to clear.

In an emergency call before the encounter with Martin, Zimmerman told a police dispatcher that Martin "looks black" but only after the dispatcher asked for Martin's race.

One of the jurors in Zimmerman's state trial told CNN on Monday that she did not think Zimmerman racially profiled Martin. "All of us thought race did not play a role," said the juror, granted anonymity by the television news network.


A peaceful protest of the George Zimmerman verdict in Los Angeles turned violent Monday after youths broke away from the main demonstration in Leimert Park, stomped on cars, broke windows, set fires and attacked several people.

KCBS-TV/KCAL-TV reporter Dave Bryan and his cameraman were among those who came under assault. One of the two journalists was taken to a hospital with a possible concussion, Los Angeles Police Department Lt. Andy Neiman told The Times. 

Protesters also stormed a Wal-Mart in the Crenshaw district of Los Angeles, pushing their way through as guards scrambled to close security gates. A short while later, LAPD officers wearing helmets and carrying batons swarmed the store as others marched through the parking lot.

Young vandals who entered the Wal-Mart stormed in, threw merchandise on the ground and yelled, shoppers told a Times reporter. Some tried to break open the jewelry glass displays. The disturbance in the Crenshaw district of Los Angeles caused about 350 LAPD officers to swarm the area, leading to at least 13 arrests.

The violence Monday night was the third straight night when the LAPD was placed on a citywide tactical alert, requiring officers to work beyond their regular shifts.


Zimmerman, 29, has gone into hiding since the verdict. Friends, family and defense lawyers have said he will need time to put his life back together and was considering entering law school to help people wrongly accused of crimes.

Zimmerman's parents told ABC television on Monday they were unaware of his whereabouts and feared for his safety after receiving death threats.

Reuters and the Los Angeles Times
Copyright © 2013, Reuters

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