Petitions gain signatures after Zimmerman verdict
July 15th, 2013
09:44 AM ET
9 months ago

Petitions gain signatures after Zimmerman verdict

Updated at 3:55 p.m. ET on 7/15

(CNN) - Two petitions posted on the White House's public website over the weekend urge President Barack Obama to recommend that the Justice Department begin a federal civil rights prosecution of George Zimmerman, who was found not guilty Saturday in the Florida killing of teenager Trayvon Martin. Combined, the petitions have garnered more than 15,000 signatures since they were created on Sunday.

Additionally, petitions sponsored by the NAACP urging federal action in the Zimmerman case had garnered almost 800,000 signatures as of Monday afternoon. That documents ask Attorney General Eric Holder to “Please address the travesties of the tragic death of Trayvon Martin by acting today."

The group’s website crashed for several hours Sunday between 11 a.m. ET and 1:30 p.m. ET because of the crush of people trying to respond. NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Jealous said on CNN Sunday his group had spoken with Justice Department officials about pursuing civil rights changes against Zimmerman.

Petitions posted on the White House's "We the People" site need 100,000 signatures in 30 days to elicit a response from the administration. The more popular of the two Zimmerman-related petitions, which has received more than 13,000 signatures alone, is on pace to easily reach that mark. It calls on Attorney General Eric Holder to prosecute "George Zimmerman for depriving Trayvon Martin of his Constitutional Rights of Life and Liberty."

Obama issued a statement on the verdict Sunday afternoon, less than 24 hours after the jury concluded deliberations.

"I know this case has elicited strong passions," Obama said in his statement. "And in the wake of the verdict, I know those passions may be running even higher. But we are a nation of laws, and a jury has spoken."

The Justice Department opened an investigation into the Zimmerman case earlier this year, and has been working with the FBI and Florida officials to determine if there were any violations of federal law. According to a department spokesperson, that investigation is ongoing and will now include evidence and testimony from the state's trial.

CNN's Kevin Bohn contributed to this report.


Filed under: Florida • White House
soundoff (149 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    Steveo asked:

    Perhaps I missed something but where did being body slamed 20-25 times come from? I am asking an honest question.
    --------------
    No you're not. So, I won't be honest, either. I competely made it up.

    July 15, 2013 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote

    Just a few minutes ago, you said something completely different. You asked if I would the gun in my pants with a cartridge chambered. YES, I would. Do you have any knowledge of firearms or how they operate at all? Because your posts clearly indicate you do not.
    -----------------
    I said that I am not going to argue the point with you. The gun had no manual safety and you know it. You also know that a manual safety is what I am talking about. You also know that pressure on the trigger will fire it, despite the "hammer lock safety". Less pressure than it takes to arm it, which ain't much. You're calling the gun expert a liar, Fair.

    July 15, 2013 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  3. ????

    California
    California Gary

    @California......have you ever had to the opportunity to live in the South for awhile? Not visit, but actually live there? I have.......and I will tell you that justice is not applied equally to all races down there. It's better than it was.....but there is still a long way to go before actual equality under the law is a reality. That is my observation having spent some time living there.
    -–
    I have not lived there but I can say that racism comes in many forms such as affirmative action even. If race is going to be injected into everything it's no wonder many start to think it's true. Repeat it enough times and people start to believe it?
    #################
    I have news for both of you. I live in the "South". From what we see Black Americans are so busy killing and maiming each other all we can do is hopefully get out of their line of fire.

    July 15, 2013 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  4. just askin

    Sniffit
    "Perhaps they should be taught to keep on walking and not to attack people who might be armed."
    Perhaps you should learns the facts of the case and that Zimmerman stopped Martin on the street and began badgering him. Martin didn't just start attacking him for no reason.
    --

    so it now appears that sniffy has a secret video tape of the whole thing or was an eye witness that failed to come forward and testify. no, actually, like the prosecutors in the case, you have made up a fantasy that you have no evidence to prove. but it a small step for you to fiannly accept the fact that trayvon martin was the aggressor and assaulted zimmerman. the turth will set you free. but only if you stop trying to lie about all the facts in this case.

    July 15, 2013 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    Obama already make this a racial issue last year. I guess he and Holder can push for another fake racial charge this year. These two guys are obsessed with race more than logic.

    July 15, 2013 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  6. Marie MD

    @ray/GA, I hope nobody ever sees you walking down the street in your neighborhood minding your own business when an over zealous cop wannabe with gun co – cked decides you are guilty. He doesn't know what you are guilty of but by George (pun intended) he IS going to shoot you. Bushes or not also.
    The first, of so many lies, that I have a problem believing is that the killer didn't have the gun front and center already. There is NO way that if somebody is pounding your head like he claims (where's the blood?)that you can take a concealed automatic out of your back (which cant be seen unless younhave x ray vision) on the inside of your pants, co – ck (CNN I offended by this word it seems) the gun and shoot.
    The murderer should have stayed in his truck. He lied left, right and front and back and those women on the jury were WRONG!!!
    This killer has assault of a police officer (charges dropped!) and domestic violence on his record. He has been looking for trouble for years to show what a big man he is and he failed miserably.
    If you are going to bring up Trayvon's "past" (not that he ever did anything 17 year old doesnt do nowadays) look up Martin Bashir's description of another man who some fools in the US, Florida voted cor and the SCOTUS of the US appointed president #43. Talk about breaking the law!

    July 15, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  7. just askin

    thinking outside the box
    It doesn't change the fact that the outcome was generated by Zimmerman's actions
    --

    what actions? following somebody and reporting their location to police? none of that is illegal. what did generate the outcome was trayvon martin's actions of ambushing martin and assaulting him. that was illegal. had trayvon martin simply walked home, or maybe called 911 instead of talking to his girlfriend, he would be alive today. but instead he acted illegally and paid the ultimate price for his poor judgement and illegal behavior.

    July 15, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  8. Steveo

    Rudy NYC

    Steveo asked:

    Perhaps I missed something but where did being body slamed 20-25 times come from? I am asking an honest question.
    ----–
    No you're not. So, I won't be honest, either. I competely made it up.
    -------
    I will repeat. I have not heard about somebody getting body slamed 20-25 times! I am just asking for a citation, If you don't have one just say so!

    July 15, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  9. Scott

    Never have I seen such hate. A jury found him not guilty, right or wrong that is our law. Now these blood hunger racists want to bring him up on federal charges. NAACP is a hate group nothing more, they are a black version of the KKK. Never mind that Martin was bigger, stronger and had various run in's with the law in the past. Its over quit your crying people.

    July 15, 2013 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  10. Marie MD

    @terry, I almost had an or- gasm just thinking of you walking around with that big gun of yours armed and ready to shoot!
    Making up for lack of something else?
    Not impressed one iota.

    July 15, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  11. Ken

    Remember the Harvard guys that SUPPOSEDLY raped the 2 afro-american females?.....the outrage of the outcome of the verdict? the Al Sharptons and Eric Johnson's and Jesse Jacksons? How about the civil liberties trials that followed?kj
    What ever happened to that prosecutor? Unfortunately we are seeing a repeat.....TRUE racism again.

    July 15, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  12. marie basemon

    Trayvon was stalked and killed by George. and he said in an interview if he had it to do again he would. He also said he did not have any regrets. George is a killer. I would not be surprise if he got in trouble again. Look at him, he don't look right any way. yes the government need to get him for civil rights.

    July 15, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  13. The Real Tom Paine

    -California

    California Gary

    @California........it's not a matter of "keeping racism alive" as you suggest. In parts of this country, unfortunately, racism is alive and well.......in some cases still thriving. Is there really any question about what would have happened if the roles were reversed? If a black neighborhood watch adult male had gunned down a white unarmed teenager walking home from the 7-11 store with an iced tea and a bag of skittles......do you think the jury would have come to the same conclusion? If so, you are denying the reality that a lot of people live in down South.
    -–
    Justice is color blind or at least should be. Apparently some don't want it to be.
    **************************
    Yes, and they are usually conservatives.. Race is involved in everything we do in this country because its an ugly fact, not because its been " injected" as you stated. Your reference to the Goebbels method nothwithstanding, conservatives have denied their own role in perpetuating racial stereotypes while attempting to shift blame to their ideological opposites, citing a sinister plan to keep minorities on the "plantation" Meanwhile, bigotry masquerading as policy is continually thrown out without so much as consulting minority leaders on what they want. Conservatives seek to rule, not to engage people in this country, since they think they have all the answers and yet are not actually willing to talk to the people they would be affecting. In case you ever wonder why minorities don't trust the GOP, its because they dictate to an increasingly larger portion of the population how they should live, telling them their race or sexual orientation or gender don't matter, when in fact, to the GOP, they are anathema. The GOP tells themselves these lies because they cannot face up to their policy failures.

    July 15, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  14. JOSEPH H STAFFORD

    justice 4 marissa alexander

    July 15, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  15. Steveo

    @Ken

    Remember the Harvard guys that SUPPOSEDLY raped the 2 afro-american females?.....the outrage of the outcome of the verdict? the Al Sharptons and Eric Johnson's and Jesse Jacksons? How about the civil liberties trials that followed?kj
    What ever happened to that prosecutor? Unfortunately we are seeing a repeat.....TRUE racism again.
    ----------
    Kinda like the Duke lacrosse team? The problem is those who lie about being assaulted make it truly difficult for those who have actually been assaulted!'

    July 15, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    Scott

    Never have I seen such hate. A jury found him not guilty, right or wrong that is our law. Now these blood hunger racists want to bring him up on federal charges. NAACP is a hate group nothing more, they are a black version of the KKK. Never mind that Martin was bigger, stronger and had various run in's with the law in the past
    ------------------------
    Martin was not taller, but not bigger. Zimmerman outweighed him by 1/3, or 50 pounds. Martin was a 150 lb string bean compared to Zimmerman, who weighed over 200 pounds at the time. Zimmerman has had more run-ins with the law than Martin did, including assaulting a police officer and an order of protection from an ex-girlfriend.

    July 15, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    That should read "Martin was taller, but not bigger."

    July 15, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  18. Silence DoGood

    @marie "George is a killer. ....yes the government need to get him for civil rights."

    That's the story line but he was already on trial for the killing part. The goverment "getting" him would consist of showing clear evidence of hate intention. And from reading about the trial, the only clear racist remark was the use of the C word by a witness attributing it to TM comments.

    July 15, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    "That's the story line but he was already on trial for the killing part. The goverment "getting" him would consist of showing clear evidence of hate intention. And from reading about the trial, the only clear racist remark was the use of the C word by a witness attributing it to TM comments."
    -------------–
    Civil rights is more than about race. A person has a right to privacy, and not fear being confronted by an angry man with a gun.

    July 15, 2013 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  20. Ken

    @Stevo
    But the problem in both cases is the assaulted are those that are proven innocent.

    July 15, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  21. Steveo

    The Government (thru the FBI) already investigated last year and found nothing! If the government involves itself again that will tell us, they did not trust themselves in the outcome of the first investigation or that they will fold like a moth in a flame and bow down to political pressure

    July 15, 2013 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  22. anonymous

    Rudy NYC
    Civil rights is more than about race. A person has a right to privacy, and not fear being confronted by an angry man with a gun.
    --

    Of course you have no proof of this otherwise you would have testified in the trial. Why are all you peopl emakin ghtis stuff up and posting it? This is what the prosecutors tried to do and they failed miserably. The jury was not stupid and looked at the facts, not some wild made up story.

    July 15, 2013 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  23. it must be said

    We need to make race baiting a hate crime and arrest and prosecute all these race baiting liberals for spreading their message of hate.

    July 15, 2013 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  24. Scott

    Never have I seen such hate. A jury found him not guilty, right or wrong that is our law. Now these blood hunger racists want to bring him up on federal charges. NAACP is a hate group nothing more, they are a black version of the KKK. Never mind that Martin was bigger, stronger and had various run in's with the law in the past
    --------
    Martin was not taller, but not bigger. Zimmerman outweighed him by 1/3, or 50 pounds. Martin was a 150 lb string bean compared to Zimmerman, who weighed over 200 pounds at the time. Zimmerman has had more run-ins with the law than Martin did, including assaulting a police officer and an order of protection from an ex-girlfriend.

    Even the experts in court stated that Martin was in better shape then Zimmerman, they said Martin would have had no problem with beating Zimmerman which is what he did, by pounding his head into the side walk, Also Martin could have continue to walk away instead of turning and confronting Zimmerman, then attacking him. Zimmerman did not have the gun out at the time,, he only pulled it after he was attacked.

    July 15, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  25. Scott

    Never have I seen such hate. A jury found him not guilty, right or wrong that is our law. Now these blood hunger racists want to bring him up on federal charges. NAACP is a hate group nothing more, they are a black version of the KKK. Never mind that Martin was bigger, stronger and had various run in's with the law in the past
    --–

    Rudy NYC
    Martin was not taller, but not bigger. Zimmerman outweighed him by 1/3, or 50 pounds. Martin was a 150 lb string bean compared to Zimmerman, who weighed over 200 pounds at the time. Zimmerman has had more run-ins with the law than Martin did, including assaulting a police officer and an order of protection from an ex-girlfriend.

    Even the experts in court stated that Martin was in better shape then Zimmerman, they said Martin would have had no problem with beating Zimmerman which is what he did, by pounding his head into the side walk, Also Martin could have continue to walk away instead of turning and confronting Zimmerman, then attacking him. Zimmerman did not have the gun out at the time,, he only pulled it after he was attacked.

    July 15, 2013 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6