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Trayvon Martin murder case: Defense attorney brings up issues of race

Published:Thursday | June 27, 2013 | 3:54 PM

SANFORD, Florida (AP):

Today Trayvon Martin's friend, 19-year-old Rachel Jeantel, stood firm in her testimony about the night Zimmerman shot the unarmed black 17-year-old after a fight that Jeantel said she overheard while on the phone with Martin.

George Zimmerman's defense attorney insisted during several testy exchanges with key prosecution witness, Jeantel, that Trayvon Martin injected race into a confrontation with the neighborhood watch volunteer and insinuated the young woman was not believable because of inconsistencies in her story.

Jeantel has said Martin told her he was being followed by a "creepy-ass cracker" – implying Martin was being followed by a white man because of his race.

Zimmerman identifies as Hispanic.

Race has permeated nationwide discussions of the case since the February 2012 shooting, which prompted nationwide protests and claims from critics that police took too long to arrest Zimmerman.

The neighborhood watch volunteer has pleaded not guilty and says he acted in self-defense.


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