In closing arguments presented to an all-female jury in Florida Thursday, prosecutors in the Trayvon Martin case accused George Zimmerman of profiling the black teenager and lying about the events leading up to his death.
AP Photo/Orlando Sentinel, Gary W. Green, Pool
"Wannabe cop" George Zimmerman wrongly profiled Trayvon Martin as a criminal, followed him with a gun and provoked him into a fight that resulted in the shooting death of the unarmed black teenager, a prosecutor said on Thursday.
"A teenager is dead," Florida state prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda told the jury in closing arguments of Zimmerman's second-degree murder trial. "He is dead through no fault of his own. He is dead because another man made assumptions. Because his assumptions were wrong, Trayvon Benjamin Martin will no longer walk on this Earth."
Sounding indignant, de la Rionda portrayed Zimmerman as a predator, not the good citizen who, as portrayed by the defense, was attacked by a 17-year-old whose actions led to his own death.
Defense lawyers were due to present their closing arguments on Friday, followed by a final prosecution rebuttal, after which the jury would begin deliberating a case that has captivated and polarized much of the U.S. public.
Time and again, de la Rionda accused Zimmerman of lying about what happened the rainy night of Feb. 26, 2012, when he spotted Martin inside a gated community in the central Florida town of Sanford.
Zimmerman called police, saying he believed Martin was suspicious and noted that there had been break-ins in the neighborhood.
But Martin was a guest in the home of his father's fiancée, who lived inside the gated community, and was returning from a nearby convenience store with a snack in preparation for watching the NBA All-Star game.