This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.
It has been 17 months since the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in the Florida town of Sanford. Late last night, the former neighborhood watch volunteer charged in his death was acquitted on charges of manslaughter and second-degree murder. The Zimmerman trial began as a routine homicide, but quickly evolved into something with much larger consequences about racial profiling and can control. It also became a story that could have long-lasting legal consequences.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News, I'm Rachel Martin.
As we've been reporting this morning, George Zimmerman was acquitted late last night of charges relating to the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. The trial polarized the town of Sanford, Florida, with larger question of race, profiling and the nature of self-defense.
Outside the courthouse, a crowd had gathered last night awaiting the verdict. NPR's Hansi Lo Wang was there and he has this report.
Many families live in dread of standing in the shoes of Trayvon Martin's parents. His mother, Sybrina Fulton (second from left) and father, Tracy Martin, were in court Friday as a Florida jury began its deliberations.
"I'm ashamed at how long it took me to realize why so many people in my family have been consumed with looking church-ready when they step out the door regardless of time or day."
That Facebook quote came from Phyllis Fletcher, an African-American colleague at KUOW in Seattle. And it reminded me of something my sister once told me when a white friend teased her about taking too long to get ready when they went on joint shopping expeditions. "Why are you getting all dressed up? Just throw on some jeans, like me, and let's go."
Each week,Weekend Edition Sundayhost Rachel Martin brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.
Tony Estrada is the sheriff of Santa Cruz County, Ariz., the poorest of all the border counties in the U.S. There are more than 1,000 Border Patrol Agents stationed in the county, which shares some 50 miles of border with Mexico.
Originally published on Sat July 13, 2013 11:14 pm
Updated 10:27 p.m. ET
The jury in the murder trial of George Zimmerman on Saturday acquitted the former neighborhood watch volunteer of all charges in the 2012 fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin during a scuffle in a gated Florida community.
The six-woman jury announced its verdict of not guilty at about 10 p.m. ET, after more than 16 hours of deliberations over two days.
When George Zimmerman stood trial this week the prosecution called his former professor Scott Pleasants to the stand, not in person but over that social media technology called Skype. The state of Florida completed a round of questioning...
(SOUNDBITE OF CRIMINAL TRIAL)
JOHN GUY: Thank you. No other questions, Your Honor.
This is WEEKEND EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. A six-person jury in Sanford, Fla., is deliberating today in the murder trial of George Zimmerman. He's the neighborhood watch volunteer who's charged in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. After three weeks of testimony and more than 50 witnesses, the jury heard closing arguments from prosecutors and defense yesterday.
Cpl. Jose "Freddy" Velez served in Iraq. His brother, Spc. Andrew Velez, deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. Both died in their early 20s. They are survived by their sister, Monica.
"My mom left us when I was 7, so my dad was a single parent," Monica says. "And I did all the household chores. I got the boys dressed for school, I taught them how to ride their bike, I taught them how to read and write."
One of her favorite memories is when both brothers came back from basic training and told her she could no longer be bossy.
In a major victory for the anti-abortion movement, the Texas state Senate passed a sweeping bill early Saturday that has become a flashpoint in the national abortion debate. Gov. Rick Perry is expected to sign it in short order.
But the fight is not over. Abortion rights supporters say that the new law attempts to overturn Roe vs. Wade in Texas, and that's why they plan to take their fight to the courts.
Earlier this week, we told you about some of the people who are trying to make micro-gardening go big — by sharing their DIY tips and selling products designed to make gardening in a small space a piece of cake. Many readers of The Salt let us know they were all for it.
A third death has been reported in the crash-landing of Asiana Airline flight 214, as San Francisco General Hospital said Friday that one of its patients who was injured in the accident has died. Hospital officials described the victim as a girl; they offered no further details about her.
The women who were crowned Miss Indian America are reuniting this weekend in Sheridan, Wyo. The Native American pageant ran from 1953 to 1984 and attracted contestants from across the country. Originally, the pageant started as a way to combat prejudices against Native Americans.
Wahleah Lujan, of Taos Pueblo in northern New Mexico, who won the title in 1966, was very shy at the time. In one of her appearances right after she was crowned, she told an audience: "The most important thing in my life is the preservation of our ancient pueblo and the Rio Pueblo de Taos."
Wal-Mart is threatening to walk away from plans to build three of six new stores slated for the nation's capital. Those three stores are supposed to go up in some of the city's neediest neighborhoods. But the city council in Washington, D.C., has approved a bill requiring big box stores to pay employees a living wage of $12.50 an hour. And Wal-Mart says if that becomes the law, it will scrap its plans.
NPR's Allison Keyes spoke to people in those communities about their thoughts on the standoff.
An Ethiopian Airlines jet caught fire on the ground today at London's Heathrow Airport. It was a Boeing 787, also known as the Dreamliner, which has more than its share of troubles. The 787 has had serious problems with its lithium-ion batteries. In January, one overheated and another caught fire. The whole 787 fleet was grounded for more than three months after that.
Here's NPR's John Ydstie with more on what happened today.
As the nation waits for the jury's verdict on George Zimmerman, community leaders in Florida are in place, prepared for a big public reaction.
Government and law enforcement officials say they're hoping for the best with any demonstrations that may come after the verdict. But they're also preparing for the worst – rising tensions that could escalate violently.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish. A jury in Sanford, Florida is beginning deliberations in the electric and closely watched trial of George Zimmerman. Zimmerman is charged with second degree murder and manslaughter in the killing of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin. He's pleaded not guilty. He said he acted in self defense. We have two reports now on the trial and preparations outside the courtroom.
Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden is requesting asylum in Russia while he pursues a more permanent asylum in Latin America. A condition of his continued stay in Russia is that he stop releasing information that is damaging to the US.
Attorney General Eric Holder announced a tightening of Justice Department guidelines for dealing with the sensitive issue of subpoenas of journalists' communications, weeks after embarrassing disclosures that his office had secretly obtained phone records and emails from reporters as part of a probe of unauthorized leaks.
George Zimmerman wipes his face after arriving in the courtroom for his trial in Sanford, Fla., on Friday. Zimmerman is charged in the 2012 shooting death of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin.
Credit Joe Burbank / AP
Members of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (from left: the Rev. Levy Wilcox, the Rev. R.L. Gundy, the Rev. Jake Stovall, and Jerry West) appeal for calm in Sanford, Fla., before a verdict in the Zimmerman trial.
Thousands of California prisoners are waging a hunger strike, protesting conditions in the prisons. For more on the strike and the prisoners' demands, host Michel Martin talks with Los Angeles Times Reporter Paige St. John and former inmate Jerry Elster, of Legal Services for Prisoners with Children.
Cephus "Bobby" Johnson in 2011, when the former transit officer who shot Johnson's nephew, Oscar Grant, was released from jail. Johnson and other family members have seen <em>Fruitvale Station</em>, a new feature film depicting the shooting, multiple times.
It's not often that Oakland, Calif., hosts a movie opening. But there is plenty of anticipation for Fruitvale Station.
The film is about the life and death of Oscar Grant, a young black man who was fatally shot in the back by a white transit police officer in the early morning hours of New Year's Day in 2009.
Grant was killed by Officer Johannes Mehserle, who claimed to have been reaching for his Taser, not his handgun. Mehserle was tried and convicted of involuntary manslaughter and served 11 months of a two-year term.