One of the most vocal celebrity figures to express his dissatisfaction with the handling of Trayvon Martin’s death was Def Jam founder Russell Simmons.
Simmons was displeased with Saturday’s court ruling that made George Zimmerman a free man.
A jury, comprised of six women, deliberated for more than 16 hours before finding George Zimmerman not guilty Saturday night.
Simmons alleges race was a factor in the case, but also advocates revamping of laws that promote racism and injustice.
“This is not ‘“only”’ about race,” he wrote. “This is about laws that allow racist acts to go unpunished. We must change laws that promote injustice.”
Many proponents of the Martin family believed Zimmerman was the aggressor in the altercation that led to Martin’s shooting death.
Martin left his father’s fiancé’s home on a rainy Feb. 26 night to pick up snacks to enjoy with the NBA All-Star game. Zimmerman, who was acting as neighborhood watch, pursued Martin after deeming the Miami-Dade teen suspicious.
Zimmerman shot 17-year-old Martin following a confrontation. Zimmerman alleged he was acting in self-defense.
If convicted of second-degree murder, Zimmerman could have been sentenced to a minimum of 25 years without parole and a maximum of life in prison.
A lesser charge of manslaughter could have given Zimmerman up to a 30-year prison sentence.
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