ADL Statement on George Zimmerman Verdict

New York, NY, July 15, 2013 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today issued the following statement in response to the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the killing of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed Black teenager who was shot February 26, 2012 in Sanford, Florida, during a confrontation between the two men.

Barry Curtiss-Lusher, ADL National Chair and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, said:

We have great faith in America’s jury system and do not question the verdict in the Zimmerman case.

However, this case raises serious questions about the wisdom of stand-your-ground laws and the easy access to concealed weapons permits in states like Florida, where more than one million permits have been issued since 1987 when the state’s concealed weapons law went into effect.  Had neither been in place, this tragedy may never have occurred.

There are serious, unresolved issues of race in our country, and this trial underscored the need to explore these issues more fully.  Hopefully, the debate concerning the justice of the verdict in the Zimmerman case will inspire a continued much-needed discussion about the lingering impact of racism in society.

ADL is one of the nation’s leading provider of inclusive anti-bias education resources for schools, universitiescorporationslaw enforcement agencies, and community organizations, and has developed extensive programming and curricula for teachers, students, adult family members and the community on these issues.

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.