American Federation of Teachers Head: Zimmerman Verdict 'Disappointing'

American Federation of Teachers Head: Zimmerman Verdict 'Disappointing'

On Sunday, the head of the nation’s second-largest teachers union said the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial was “disappointing” because he should have faced consequences for killing Trayvon Martin. 

Randi Weingarten, who heads the 1.5 million-member American Federation of Teachers, said it was “disappointing that a racially profiled, unarmed African-American young man wearing a hoodie can be shot dead and there be no consequences for the perpetrator.” A jury found Zimmerman not guilty on all charges Saturday evening. 

“While we believe in the rule of law and the jury has spoken, the implications of the acquittal are profound,” Weingarten said in a statement. “This case reminds us that the path to racial justice is still a long one, and that our legal and moral systems do not always mesh. The proceedings in the Sanford, Fla., courtroom may well have dealt with the criminal aspects of the case, as defined by Florida law, but we will continue to deal with the moral ones.”

She said her organization will “remain steadfast in our commitment to fight for laws, policies and practices that will prohibit racial profiling at the federal, state and local levels.”

“The disposition of this case is the antithesis of what we teach our children in school–that the law protects innocent victims and that no one has the right to take the law into his or her own hands. Everyone’s child matters,” Weingarten said. “We pray for the strength of Trayvon’s parents and loved ones in this difficult time.”