Category: RTM News Reel Written by Josh Levs, CNN
Trayvon Martin's parents spoke out Thursday for the first time since George Zimmerman was acquitted in the death of their son.
In interviews on the three network TV morning news programs, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin assailed the verdict and the Zimmerman defense team's argument that the killing was in self-defense during an attack by the unarmed teenager.
Fulton told "CBS This Morning" she was "in a bit of shock" after the verdict. "I thought surely that he would be found guilty of second-degree murder," she said.
On NBC's "Today," Fulton said the case is "sending a terrible message to other little black and brown boys -- that you can't walk fast, you can't walk slow. So what do they do? I mean, how do you get home without people knowing or either assuming that you're doing something wrong? Trayvon wasn't doing anything wrong."
Tracy Martin told CBS he wants America to know that Trayvon "was a fun-loving child."
Speaking to ABC's "Good Morning America," Martin added that he and Fulton did not find the verdict fair, "and of course it's devastating."
Juror pushes for new laws following Zimmerman trial
"My first thought was shock, disgust," said Fulton.
The parents also were asked about remarks by Juror B37, who told CNN she believes Trayvon Martin "played a huge role in his death."
"I don't think she knows Trayvon," Fulton said on CBS. "Trayvon is not a confrontational person."
On ABC, she added that she wishes the six-woman jury "had an opportunity to really know who Trayvon was and to put that in context with what their decision was."
The parents did not say whether they may file a civil lawsuit.
They pushed for the federal government -- which is considering whether to file criminal civil rights charges against Zimmerman -- to examine the case closely.
Fulton told CBS she wants President Barack Obama to go through the case "with a fine-tooth comb."
"Today" asked them whether they may forgive Zimmerman, the 29-year-old neighborhood watch volunteer. "Forgiveness is like a healing process. Forgiveness takes time," Martin responded. "The Bible says that you have to forgive and forget, but also the healing process is a long process and the forgiving process is a long process."
On ABC, the couple was told that Zimmerman's parents have told Barbara Walters that they pray for Trayvon every day.
Zimmerman could still be held responsible for Martin's death
Asked whether they take any comfort from that, Martin said, "There's no winner in this situation."
He added, "We continue to pray that we'll find peace and strength to be forgiving parents."
Daryl Parks, an attorney for the Martin family, spoke with CNN's "New Day" about why the parents chose to do interviews now.
"Maybe Trayvon's human aspect, in the course of the case, didn't come out quite as much," he said. "As you listen to that juror (B37), she talks very deeply about George Zimmerman and humanizes George Zimmerman, when in this case Trayvon was the victim here."
Last Updated on Thursday, 18 July 2013 12:00
Category: RTM News Reel Written by Julie Cannold. Mayra Cuevas and Joe Sterling, CNN
Accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's face on the cover of the latest Rolling Stone sparked a backlash against the magazine in social media and in boardrooms around the country.
"THE BOMBER," the cover reads. "How a popular, promising student was failed by his family, fell into radical Islam and became a monster."
The photo of a tousle-haired, thinly goateed Tsarnaev is one the suspect posted online himself and has been picked up by other outlets.
A groundswell of criticism objecting to its placement on Rolling Stone's cover emerged Wednesday on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook and among leaders in Boston, where the marathon bombings killed three people, wounded more than 200 and led to a frantic manhunt that left a police officer dead.
But some people defended the magazine's decision, saying it draws attention to the story of a young man who seemed an unlikely terrorist.
Ed Kelly, president of the Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts, called it "insulting." Using Tsarnaev's booking photo might have been one thing, but a photo that shows "the innocence of youth" gives the wrong message, Kelly told CNN.
"He gave up any innocence he had on April 15, when he took the life of an innocent child, two women and then went on to execute a police officer," Kelly said.
"What he did to a city, a country, we're never going to forgive him for it," Kelly said. "We're not going to cower from it. It disturbs us that our media chooses to celebrate it."
Three prominent New England-based businesses -- CVS pharmacies, Stop & Stop, and Tedeschi Food Shops -- heard the public outcry and announced they will not sell that edition, which will be on newsstands soon.
"Music and terrorism don't mix!" the Tedeschi firm said on its Facebook page, which carries the cover image with a circle and a line crossed through it. One Facebook commenter said, "I'm done with Rolling Stone."
The Illinois-based drugstore chain Walgreens and Rite Aid, based in Pennsylvania, said they won't carry the issue, either.
And in a letter to Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino urged the magazine to follow up with stories "on the brave and strong survivors" of the attacks and the doctors, nurses, friends and volunteers who helped them.
"The survivors of the Boston attacks deserve Rolling Stone cover stories, though I no longer feel that Rolling Stone deserves them," Menino wrote.
Rolling Stone, critic defend cover
In a statement, the magazine said its thoughts were "always with" the bombing victims and their families.
"The cover story we are publishing this week falls within the traditions of journalism and Rolling Stone's long-standing commitment to serious and thoughtful coverage of the most important political and cultural issues of our day," it said. "The fact that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is young, and in the same age group as many of our readers, makes it all the more important for us to examine the complexities of this issue and gain a more complete understanding of how a tragedy like this happens."
While primarily a music magazine, the journal also has forged a reputation for hard-hitting pieces on national affairs, politics and popular culture. For example, journalist Michael Hastings wrote a 2010 profile of Gen. Stanley McChrystal that led to the officer's abrupt retirement. In his profile, Hastings quoted McChrystal and his staff criticizing and mocking key administration officials.
Washington Post media critic Erik Wemple said Rolling Stone should be out defending its article, because it's "a pretty easy thing to defend."
"What you have here is a story about a guy who was very integrated and well-balanced, by all accounts, member of our society until something happened," Wemple said. "We don't know precisely what happened and that was the whole point of this Rolling Stone story -- to account for how he slid off the rails."
He called the companies that are pulling it from the racks "cowardly," noting that The New York Times used the same photo back in May. The photo doesn't glamorize Tsarnaev, he argued, but "humanizes" him for people "who want to see him as an animal from Day One."
"The facts are he wasn't an animal, at least to his peer group, for the longest time. They remember him as a dear friend," Wemple said. "That's a problem, because he was part of our society and he turned on it by all indications, or allegedly."
Share your view of the cover
The article about the bombing suspect is a deeply researched account, the magazine said in a synopsis about the story, which it published online Wednesday afternoon. Among its revelations:
-- A public plea from his former wrestling coach may ultimately have convinced Tsarnaev to surrender when police surrounded the boat in which he was hiding.
-- In high school, Tsarnaev played down the fact that he was a Muslim. But he also took his religion seriously.
-- He once confided to a friend that he thought the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks could be justified because of U.S. policies toward Muslim countries.
But Rhode Island-based CVS Caremark Corp. said its decision "is the right decision out of respect for the victims of the attack and their loved ones," company spokesman Michael DeAngelis told CNN.
Tedeschi Food Shops, based in Rockland, Massachusetts, said it supports the need to provide news but not "actions that serve to glorify the evil actions of anyone. With that being said, we will not be carrying this issue of Rolling Stone."
Stop & Shop, a chain of stores based in Quincy, Massachusetts, said it won't carry the latest issue "due to the public response and our customers feedback," spokeswoman Suzi Robinson said.
Richard "Dic" Donohue, a transit police officer injured in a shootout with the bombing suspects, also criticized the cover.
"The new cover of Rolling Stone has garnered much attention due to its sensationalized depiction of one of the alleged bombers. My family and I were personally affected by these individuals' actions. I cannot and do not condone the cover of the magazine," which is thoughtless at best, he said.
And the magazine's Facebook post of the cover image had received more than 16,000 comments by Wednesday evening.
"Oh look, Rolling Stone magazine is glamourizing terrorism. Awesome," Adrienne Graham commented on the magazine's Facebook page. "I will NOT be buying this issue, or any future issues."
Others expressed similar sentiments, and words such as "tasteless," "sickening" and "disgusting" flew around social media.
"What a slap in the face to the great city of Boston and the Marathon Bombing victims," commented Lindsey Williamson.
But on The New Yorker's website, a column by Ian Crouch speaks out against the rush to judgment and in favor of the magazine.
The "vitriol and closed-mindedness of the Web response to the Rolling Stone cover, before anyone had the chance to read the article itself, is an example of two of the ugly public outcomes of terrorism: hostility toward free expression, and to the collection and examination of factual evidence; and a kind of culture-wide self-censorship encouraged by tragedy, in which certain responses are deemed correct and anything else is dismissed as tasteless or out of bounds," he wrote.
The cover image was not engineered, he wrote. "What is so troubling about this image, and many of the others that have become available since April, is that Tsarnaev really does look like a rock star. In this way, the photograph on Rolling Stone is of a part with the often unexpected, and unsettling, portrait of Tsarnaev that has emerged over the past few months."
S.E. Cupp, who will co-host CNN's new "Crossfire" program, tweeted, "To me, seems @RollingStone isn't glamorizing terrorism, but proving that it can look innocent and young and attractive. Important lesson.
"I hope every young @RollingStone reader reads Tsarnaev story, realizes that radical Islam's here, can even infect a young Jim Morrison."
Tsarnaev supporters respond
The cover also brought out comments from the "Free Jahar" movement. (Dzhokhar is also spelled Jahar or Djahar.)
"#BoycottRollingStone calling Djahar a monster and stirring the pot even more shame on you! Innocent until PROVEN guilty," tweeted @Jahars_Tsarnaev.
Authorities accuse Tsarnaev and his brother Tamerlan of setting off a pair of bombs just seconds apart near the finish line of the packed Boston Marathon course on Boylston Street on April 15. Tamerlan was killed during the police pursuit three nights later; Dzhokhar was captured and charged with 30 federal counts stemming from the attack. He pleaded not guilty to the charges last week.
Last Updated on Thursday, 18 July 2013 12:12
Category: RTM News Reel Written by News One Staff
After approximately 2 hours of deliberation, a jury Wednesday found John Henry Spooner, 76, guilty of the May 31, 2012 first-degree intentional homicide of 13-year-old Darius Simmons.
The jury began hearing testimony Tuesday morning, was handed the case around 11:20 a.m. Wednesday and returned a verdict around 1:10 p.m.
As previously reported by NewsOne, Spooner suspected 13-year-old Simmons of stealing three shotguns from his home. Spooner confronted the child as he was taking out the trash.
Simmons mother, Patricia Larry, who yelled for Spooner to go away, said that her son's murderer told the frightened boy to raise his hands and, when he complied, he shot him.
"He told Darius that he's going to teach him not to steal," she said during her testimony. "And he shot him."
Spooner shot the child in the chest, and as he turned to run away, he fired a second shot that missed.
"I ran off the porch to my son," she said. "I checked for a pulse. I checked both of his wrists. He didn't have a pulse so I went to his neck, and it was very faint.... I pulled up his shirt and I could see that he had a bullet hole."
Simmons took his last breath in his mother's arms.
The murder, captured by Spooner's own surveillance camera, was shown to the stunned jury and was posted online by Milwaukee's Journal Sentinel.
"The best piece of evidence you're going to see is the murder. You're going to actually see what the murder looks like in this case," prosecutor Mark Williams said.
Spooner had entered two pleas to the homicide charge: not guilty and not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect, reports CBS News.
In an interesting twist to this tragic case, Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Jeffrey A. Wagner, who presides over the trial, and Spooner's defense lawyer, Franklyn Gimbel, are in-laws.
Wagner's son, Benjamin, is married to Gimbel's daughter, Rachel. The pair has a young daughter, reports Milwaukee's Journal Sentinel.
"I believe I've gotten no special, favorable treatment whatsoever in this case or any time I've ever appeared in this court, nor anybody in my office," Gimbel said.
Typically when there is an "appearance of impropriety," the judge voluntarily recuses himself, but Wagner has made no such move.
The trial now enters the second phase, which is to determine whether or not Spooner was in sound mind when he killed Simmons.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 July 2013 13:17
Category: RTM News Reel Written by Hannington Dia, News One
Artist Nikkolas Smith's image of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (pictured) wearing a hoodie, a reference to the Trayvon Martin case, went viral this week.
Titled, "April 4, 1968″ (the day King was assassinated), the image appears on a web gallery of posters supporting gun control. The image quickly spread through social media sites, after former President Barack Obama adviser Van Jones re-tweeted the image following the verdict.
Nikkolas Smith, the image's creator, says he wanted to spark discussion about stereotypes of Black men in hoodies, when the Martin case first broke.
"There was this whole national outcry, a hoodie movement and everybody was rocking their hoods and everything," Smith told Buzzfeed. "Just trying to get that message out there about what is considered suspicious. Is my Black skin considered suspicious?"
Smith says the image is important because "MLK is the most-iconic figure."
Hoodies have become a rallying symbol in the year since Martin's murder. He was wearing one when neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman followed and confronted him in a Sanford, Fla., gated community on February 26, 2012. This caused a scuffle, leading to Zimmerman fatally shooting Martin in the heart.
Zimmerman was found not guilty on second-degree and manslaughter charges Saturday, sparking mass demonstrations across the country.
Last Updated on Thursday, 18 July 2013 13:32
Category: RTM News Reel Written by CNN News
(CNN) -- As an ailing Nelson Mandela recuperates in a South African hospital, the world celebrated his 95th birthday Thursday, honoring his legacy in various ways, including performing 67 minutes of community service.
Voice from a Kenyan slum: Mandela saved my life
Schoolchildren sang "Happy Birthday" to the former president during morning assemblies while crowds left flowers and candles outside his Pretoria hospital. The day also marks 15 years since he married his wife, Graca Machel.
President Jacob Zuma said that Mandela, who has been hospitalized with a lung ailment since June, is "steadily improving." Zuma's latest assessment comes after weeks of describing Mandela's heath as critical but stable.
Read more: The six names of Nelson Mandela
Incredible legacy of Nelson Mandela Prayers for Nelson Mandela Tutu scolds feuding Mandela family South Africans pray for Mandela
The president wished Mandela a happy birthday.
"We are proud to call this international icon our own as South Africans and wish him good health," Zuma said. "We thank all our people for supporting Madiba throughout the hospitalization with undying love and compassion. We also thank all for responding to the call to give Madiba the biggest birthday celebration ever this year."
South Africans affectionately refer to Mandela as Madiba, his clan name.
The United Nations declared July 18 as Mandela Day four years ago to honor his role in reconciling a country torn apart by apartheid. It started as a call to promote global peace and encourage community service.
Read more: Mandela posters mark 95th birthday
His foundation is asking people to volunteer 67 minutes of public service on his birthday, a reference to the number of years he devoted to public service.
U.S. President Barack Obama, who visited with Mandela's family in South Africa last month, also sent birthday wishes.
"People everywhere have the opportunity to honor Madiba through individual and collective acts of service," he said in a prepared statement. "Through our own lives, by heeding his example, we can honor the man who showed his own people -- and the world -- the path to justice, equality and freedom."
The frail icon has not appeared in public for years, but he retains his popularity as the father of democracy and emblem of the nation's fight against apartheid.
His defiance of white minority rule focused the world's attention on apartheid, the legalized racial segregation enforced by the South African government until 1994.
The raid that saw Mandela jailed for life: Liliesleaf 50 years on
His hospitalization has given his birthday a sentimental touch. The South African Embassy in the United States said it will be the biggest celebration since his birthday in 1990, the year he was freed from prison.
The festivities are not limited to South Africa. In the United States, the embassy said 18 cities, including the nation's capital, will hold various events to celebrate his birthday.
The United Nations will also host an event in New York City featuring various speakers, including former U.S. President Bill Clinton, whose presidency coincided with Mandela's. The Rev. Jesse Jackson, the U.S. civil rights leader, and Andrew Mlangeni, 87, who was imprisoned with Mandela, will be part of the celebration.
Mandela's family has faced an anxious few weeks while the former president has been hospitalized.
His daughter, Zindzi Mandela-Motlhajwa, told the South African Press Association on Thursday that her father was making "remarkable progress" and that she looks forward to seeing him back home soon.
A public family feud over where three of Mandela's deceased children should be buried has added to their stress.
Last month, family members sued Mandela's grandson to return the remains to Qunu, the former president's childhood home.
The grandson, Mandla Mandela, exhumed the remains from Qunu two years ago, then reburied them in Mvezo, where he's built a visitor center. They were returned to Qunu this month after a court order.
The matter is back in court Thursday, said Freddie Pilusa, a spokesman for the grandson.
"Mandla does not want the graves repatriated, but he wants the decision forcing him to move them rescinded because it was based on incorrect information," he said.
Mandela, a Nobel peace laureate, spent 27 years in prison for fighting against oppression of minorities in South Africa. He became the nation's first black president in 1994, four years after he was freed from prison.
CNN's Nkepile Mabuse and Nana Karikari-apau contributed to this report.
Last Updated on Thursday, 18 July 2013 11:03
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