Washington, DC - George Zimmerman, who faced charges of 2nd degree murder and manslaughter in the 2012 death of Trayvon Martin, was found not guilty tonight by a six-person jury of his peers in Sanford, Florida. Members of the Project 21 black leadership network are commenting on the verdict:
Christopher Arps: “Six women, some of them mothers themselves, found George Zimmerman not guilty of second degree murder and manslaughter in the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Although Mr. Zimmerman was acquitted, there are no winners in this tragic case. A teenager is deceased and a young man’s family is mourning. George Zimmerman will never have a normal life again. I call for all sides to respect the verdict reached by a jury of Mr. Zimmerman’s peers and honor Trayvon’s memory by letting peace prevail in the streets.” -Arps is a managing partner of a digital media and political consulting firm and a co-founder of the black political networking website Move-On-Up.org.
Derryck Green: “To celebrate justice rendered in this case is not an admission or an articulation that Trayvon Martin deserved what happened to him that fateful night in February of 2012. As most will acknowledge, it’s a sad and unfortunate thing that Martin lost his life and that his parents had to bury their son. The jury ruled – considering the evidence presented – rightly in my opinion. George Zimmerman is innocent of the filed charges against him. Despite the considerable emotion surrounding this case, justice has been served. It is not ‘justice for Trayvon.’ Nor it is ‘justice for George.’ It is simply justice.” -Green, a student, has a M.A. in Theological Studies and is currently pursuing his doctorate in ministry.
Coby Dillard: “The justice system did what it is supposed to do – get to the bottom of what happened. Agree or not, our system works. George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin, by his own admission. He has to live with that, and I believe God will judge him for that action. But the jury decided that action did not rise to the level of manslaughter or murder. I accept and respect that. We all should, whether or not we agree with it.” -Dillard is a founder of the Hampton Roads Tea Party in southern Virginia, a regular columnist for the Norfolk Virginian Pilot and a Navy veteran.
Demetrius Minor: “George Zimmerman has been found not guilty. Regardless of how people feel about it, we must still show love and have compassion one for another.” -Minor, a former White House intern, is an evangelist and motivational speaker.
Project 21 was formed in 1992 when the riots following the verdict in the Rodney King case revealed a need to highlight the diversity of opinion within the black community. For over 20 years, the volunteer members of the Project 21 black leadership network have provided conservative and free-market perspectives that, until that time, were largely unknown or ignored by the establishment media.
During the course of the Zimmerman trial, which was heard in the Seminole County (Florida) Circuit Court, Project 21 members provided commentary and continue to be available for interviews about the case and the issues surrounding it. Project 21 regularly issued press releases featuring quotes from its members on the breaking news about the trial and the controversies surrounding it.
Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over two decades, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research, a conservative, free-market, non-profit think-tank established in 1982.