GOP congressman on verdict: 'Get over it'
July 16th, 2013
02:11 PM ET
9 years ago

GOP congressman on verdict: 'Get over it'

(CNN) - Rep. Andy Harris, R-Maryland, has some blunt advice for those protesting or focusing on last week's verdict in the George Zimmerman trial.

"We're hung up on this one case, where this one fellow was, in fact, found not guilty by a jury. That's the way the American law system works," Harris said Tuesday morning in a radio interview. "Get over it."

Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer who fatally shot Trayvon Martin in February 2012, was acquitted by a jury late Saturday on state criminal charges. Large protests and petitions have since erupted around the country in opposition to the jury's decision, with racial tensions as a major underpinning.

But Harris argued the trial got more attention than necessary.

"We missed the forest of the trees to a large extent," he said on WMAL's "Mornings on the Mall." Harris added there were other "huge issues going on in the world," namely unrest in the Middle East.

A federal civil rights investigation was previously opened in the case, and some are pushing for the Justice Department to bring federal charges against Zimmerman.

However, the DOJ needs to establish that a hate crime was committed, a legal burden Attorney General Eric Holder has said in the past would be a challenge to meet.

Asked about his thoughts should the DOJ decide to press charges, the two-term congressman from Maryland said Tuesday that such a move would be "purely political."

"We would have to look at ways to rein in the Justice Department," Harris said. "A lot people feel the Justice Department has run amok."

A new survey from the Pew Research Center indicates a modest amount of Americans–26%–were following coverage of the trial "very closely." Notably, the story gained far more interest among African Americans, with 67% saying they watched at least some live coverage of the Zimmerman trial, compared to 38% of whites.

The same poll found that the shooting death of Martin and the subsequent trial attracted less interest than other racially-charged news stories in the past. According to Pew, 70% of adults in 1992 said they followed the Rodney King verdict and riots, and 48% said the same in 1994 about the O.J. Simpson trial.

- CNN's Ashley Killough and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.

Filed under: House • Justice Department
soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. Donkey Party

    The verdict was a godsend to the GOP. It's one less minority they'll have to worry about voting against them.

    July 16, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  2. Fair is Fair

    Looks like fake Fair is Fair got both Dutch and Rudy to bite.

    July 16, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  3. LR

    That's at tipiclal GOP. That's the words the "GOP" has been using for over two hundred years while African Americans continues to be treated like second class Americans. GOP is one the problems. They see white as superior to any other race.

    July 16, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  4. Latrice Forte from Fla.

    The Republican congressman himself he still hasn't he still hasn't accepted the fact that President Barack Obama is still in office so I say to him get over that.

    July 16, 2013 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  5. Steveo

    Poor choice of words. A simple call to respect the decision would have been a better choice. Even better yet, why did he feel the need to interject at all? He had every right too but his choice of words were pitifully poor!

    @Rudy NYC
    Because that is what Republicans have always done. Rub their enemies faces in the dirt. Kick a man when he's down. Etc.
    You really think this nonsense is limited to one party? Really?

    Come to think of it why is no one protesting the carnage in Chicago? Why isn't Jesse and Al leading marches there?

    July 16, 2013 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  6. ????

    He's right. You guys need to calm down and get over it. To their credit, Obama and Holder are trying to defuse this ticking time bomb, even though they both know there is nothing the Federal Government can do about the Zimmerman case. Otherwise these disgruntled people will burn down their own neighborhoods like they always do when things don't go their way.

    July 16, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  7. California


    That's at tipiclal GOP. That's the words the "GOP" has been using for over two hundred years while African Americans continues to be treated like second class Americans. GOP is one the problems. They see white as superior to any other race.
    Learn how to spell bottom feeder. You're racist posts are TYPICAL of a liberal parasite.

    July 16, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  8. JAX FL

    Review of our local newspaper over the last ten days at reveals that at least five white people have been murdered by African-Americans. What do you think the chances are that we can get Eric Holder to investigate these murders for hate crimes?

    July 16, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  9. Malory Archer

    IMO as a Floridian, it's time for the state to reexamine SYG. The way it's written, an abusive spouse/boyfriend can shoot and kill their partner if said partner tries to flee and a struggle ensues. Since dead women tell no tales he can tell all the lies he wants about her and assinate her character, then walk away because he killed the only witness.

    July 16, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  10. Malory Archer


    KKK was in fact founded by the democrat party.

    Ignorance is no excuse libs.


    Heavy sigh.

    Nobody is disputing that fact. HOWEVER, all those dems became rethugs in the 1960s following the passage of the Civil Rights Act. In fact, those who switched even said they didn't leave the dem party – the dem party left them. And for the better I say.

    July 16, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  11. Tampa Tim

    Steven – There were over 31,000 deaths due to guns in 2012. Of those, 500 were in Chicago. Did you ever wonder about the other 30,500 outside of Chicago?

    July 16, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  12. ST

    @ Rudy
    You are quite right. The words this man is using is very inflammatory. Am not surprised, they are always acting like Mafia and not like civilised people. They are the ones who have been insisting to know how the tragedy in Benghazi happened BUT not acknowledging that there is no difference in any death.

    July 16, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  13. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair

    Looks like fake Fair is Fair got both Dutch and Rudy to bite.
    I thought so. I expressed by doubts on one. But, don't worry about it happening any more, at least for now. Steveo's back.

    July 16, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  14. Timothy M

    I am a white male, but I find the notion of "getting over it" disturbing, to say the least. The system completely failed Trayvon. He may not have been the brightest bulb in the box (and neither was Zimmerman) but he did not deserve to be profiled and shot through the heart without any legal consequences to the one who did it. It is completely up to random chance to be born white, black, or any other race, so it's only fair that we treat one another as we'd like ourselves to be treated. If my son were in Trayvon's place, I'd want to see justice–not this senseless acquittal.

    July 16, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  15. Ed1

    I agree get over it even the FBI didn't find any bias results with Zimmerman and Holder is just wasting more tax dollars on trying to open a DOJ case on race bias.

    July 16, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
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