The second week of the George Zimmerman trial began Monday with testimony from an FBI expert who testified that he could not determine if screams heard on a 911 call came from the volunteer community watchman or from Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old unarmed black teen that Zimmerman killed.
Since the February 2012 shooting incident, national interest in the case has been high. You don’t have to be near a television to watch the case unfold, as there is a live stream of the Zimmerman trial available on the Internet.
NBC isn’t the only national network keeping a close eye on the Zimmerman trial. Fox News is providing “gavel-to-gavel” coverage of the Trayvon Martin case here. CBS News also has a live feed from inside Florida Circuit Court in Sanford, Fla., the city where the fatal shooting happened.
Zimmerman, 29, is facing second-degree murder charges in the death of Martin. Zimmerman, who is half white and half Hispanic, claims he shot Trayvon in self-defense during a struggle on the rainy night of February 26, 2012. State prosecutors are claiming Zimmerman "profiled" the Trayvon, pursued him and ended up shooting him after a struggle.
Before the fight and shooting unfolded, Zimmerman observed Trayvon Martin near a 7-Eleven in Sanford and says he believed the teen was acting suspiciously. Zimmerman phoned 911 to notify authorities about the teen and was told by a dispatcher to let police handle the matter. Zimmerman did not heed those orders and instead followed Trayvon, leading to the struggle and eventual killing of Trayvon.
The first week of the Zimmerman trial included the testimony of so-called “star witness” Rachel Jeantel. Jeantel, a friend of Trayvon’s, was the last to speak to the teen before he died.
Jeantel testified that Trayvon called her to inform her that there was a man acting weird and following him, with Trayvon adding that Zimmerman was a “creepy-ass cracker.”
The remark went viral on the Internet and spurred a debate as to whether that phrase constitutes a racial slur.
In questioning Jeantel, Zimmerman attorney Don West was trying to lay the foundation that Trayvon brought the idea of race into the equation of the circumstances of his encounter with Zimmerman.
Race has been a contentious issue in the case, due to Zimmerman being Hispanic and half white while Trayvon was black.