Race riots could ensue if George Zimmerman -- the shooter in the Trayvon Martin case -- is found not guilty of second-degree murder by a Florida jury, the Congressional Black Caucus' executive director allowed yesterday.
"I think a 'not guilty' verdict is extremely problematic in 2012," said Angela Rye, the Executive Director and General Counsel for the Congressional Black Caucus. She said, "I don't know," when asked what would happen in the event of an acquittal. "I know that folks have talked about race riots -- I don't know that. I think that we live in a day and age where people are educated enough not to do that. I know that his mother and his father have asked for peace, peaceful solutions, not repaying evil for evil, so I'm not sure. I think it would set us back . . . there's no value to racial violence or any other kind of violence."
Rye cited the media handling of the Trayvon Martin shooting as an example of racial bias. "To demonize a victim is always heavily criticized if it's a white woman, if it's a child -- but in this situation, this boy who was not alive anymore to tell his side of the story was quickly demonized, and that's where I take issue," she said.
Despite her apparent belief that Zimmerman should be convicted, Rye seemed to express openness to differing accounts about the case. "I don't take issue with the facts as George Zimmerman articulates them or as a witness may have articulated them, but there are so many conflicting stories and the fact that they said, well, he was kicked out of school or he smoked marijuana or whatever -- that doesn't give you the right to take someone's life," she told CSPAN's Q&A.