Four of the jurors at the George Zimmerman trial distanced themselves late Tuesday from statements that another juror made in a televised interview.
If things are this awkward in public, it must have been even more awful in the deliberations. Four Zimmerman jurors (there were only six in total) said in a statement released on Tuesday that the comments made by B37 were “not in any way representative of the jurors listed below.” The jurors asked the media to respect their privacy as well. But that hasn’t stopped B37 from talking more. She said on Tuesday that 17-year-old Trayvon Martin “played a huge role” in his own death. “When George confronted him … he could have walked away and gone home,” said B37 on Anderson Cooper 360. “He didn’t have to do whatever he did and come back and be in a fight.” The jury of six women on Saturday found Zimmerman, 29, not guilty of all charges in Martin’s February 2012 death.
Zimmerman shot Martin to death in February 2012 in a gated neighborhood in Sanford. Martin, who was visiting his father and his father's fiancee, had gone to a convenience store to get candy and an iced tea. Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, spotted him and called police to report a suspicious person. Eventually, Zimmerman got out of his vehicle, a confrontation ensued, and Martin wound up dead.
There were no witnesses to the confrontation, but Juror B37 said she knew Martin had thrown the first punch. Asked whether she felt sorry for Martin, she said: "I feel sorry for both of them. I feel sorry for Trayvon and the situation he was in, and I feel sorry for George because of the situation he got himself in.”
On Tuesday, Cooper aired more excerpts of his interview with B37, who said she was 101% sure the jury did the right thing. Martin, she said, “played a huge role in his death,” but she extended her condolences to his parents.
“I feel bad that we can't give them the verdict that they wanted, but legally, we could not do that,” she said.
The other four jurors also cited Florida law. "Serving on this jury has been a highly emotional and physically draining experience for each of us,” the statement signed by Jurors B51, B76, E6 and E40 said. “The death of a teenager weighed heavily on our hearts, but in the end we did what the law required us to do.”
The Justice Department said it is reviewing evidence in the case to determine whether criminal civil rights charges are warranted.
Attorney General Eric Holder said the killing of Trayvon Martin was a tragic, unnecessary shooting and that the 17-year-old's death provides an opportunity for the nation to speak honestly about complicated and emotionally charged issues.