A potential juror in the George Zimmerman second-degree murder trial in Florida expressed fear Wednesday that she could be the victim of violence if picked for the trial, indicating that tensions are still running high in the community after Zimmerman shot 17-year old high school student Trayvon Martin last year.
Many of the potential jurors interviewed Wednesday morning on the third day of jury selection in the trial knew about the circumstances surrounding the highly-publicized shooting, and some had already developed fears or concerns.
A woman in her mid-twenties reportedly expressed fear for her safety if selected for the jury. A woman in her fifties also said that she didn’t like the negative media coverage Sanford, Florida received after the shooting.
“My impressions are we should look at the crime — I don’t think it’s a racial issue,” said one potential female juror who has watched coverage of the case on Good Morning America.
A potential male juror noted that “maybe [Zimmerman] thought he was doing the right thing.”
In accordance with Florida law, the jury will be composed of only six jurors.
Zimmerman, a half-white, half-Latino neighborhood watchman, stands trial this summer for second-degree murder after shooting Martin, purportedly in self-defense. Zimmerman claimed that Martin jumped him, pounded his head against the pavement, pummeled him with fists, and reached for Zimmerman’s gun, prompting Zimmerman to shoot and kill him. The case gained wide media attention and prompted threats of further violence in 2012, with The New Black Panthers offering a $10,000 bounty for Zimmerman’s capture.
Jury selection in the case will resume Thursday morning.