Reporter's Notebook: Rev. Jesse Jackson reacts to jury selection in George Zimmerman trial

By Christina Vazquez - Reporter

SANFORD, Fla. - WPLG-Local 10 reporter Christina Vazquez interviews Rev. Jesse Jackson about potential jurors opinions on his activism in Sanford, after police took 44-days to arrest George Zimmerman in the shooting of an unarmed teen from Miami Gardens.

Christina Vazquez reports:

Rev. Jesse Jackson tells me he's not "bothered" by how much his name has been dropped during jury selection in the George Zimmerman Trial.

I gave him a call so he could have a chance to respond to comments I've heard during jury selection. Over the phone Rev. Jackson told me potential jurors who have said they do not think this case was racially-motivated are "deceiving themselves". He spoke about the racial tension that exists between the African-American community and Sanford's police department. That racial tension is something Sanford's City Manager candidly addressed during our interview with him last week. Rev. Jackson believes the racial bias in this case extends beyond the deadly shooting of Trayvon Martin to the lack of an arrest following his death. 

We are working on bringing you what he had to say tonight after the @MiamiHeat game on Local 10. In the meantime will be working on transcribing our interview for you. I will be able to do that after our live shot at 5:30pm and then will post on FB and Twitter.


Having sat through jury selection since Day One a common, and in many respects surprising theme has been the number of potential jurors, both black and white, who have said they do not think the case was racially-motivated. Several expressing an opinion that they feel "outsiders" imposed racial undertones to the case. 

Outside of George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin, the two names that have surfaced most frequently are Rev. Al Sharpton and Rev. Jesse Jackson.

Many of the potential jurors even expressing distaste for what they heard at the rallies and protests in the 44-day window between the shooting death of Trayvon Martin and arrest of George Zimmerman. 

B35, an African-American man in the current potential jury pool accused the civil rights leaders of : "sabre-rattling to build their own agendas."

State prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda asked him, "you mentioned Mr. Jackson and Mr. Sharpton, um, I gathered you didn't agree with what they were saying or doing about the case, is that accurate?" B35 responded: "I don't agree and them rallying all that for one case when we have 47 black people killed in one city on a constant basis all the time, we don't march about that."

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