Alphonso Carter saw nothing out of the ordinary in the George Zimmerman trial verdict.
“I never go in a white neighborhood,” the 15-year-old from Delray Beach said. “They always think we’re gonna steal.”
Other young people out and about Sunday in Lake Worth and West Palm Beach — some of them the same age as Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old black teenager Zimmerman was acquitted of killing late Saturday — saw the verdict the same way.
For Carter and other Palm Beach County youths the Zimmerman trial was all about race, and the prejudice they see in Zimmerman’s decisions the night Martin died is a part of their daily lives, they say.
Andre Marshall of Lake Worth simply didn’t see the logic behind the jury’s verdict, saying that if he was in a position similar to Martin’s, he would have fought back.
“I’ve got to protect myself,” Marshall, 25, said. “If you’re trailing me and you’re not a police officer, then I don’t know who you are.”
Ellison Robins, also of Lake Worth, distilled the case to what he saw as its bare elements.
“I just see a white man shooting a black boy and getting off,” Robins, 20, said standing outside of the predominately black Lake Worth Church of God after Sunday’s service.
And both the verdict and the culture he lives in teach him to be careful. He said he has to second-guess how he carries himself in public and make an effort for people to trust that he’s not a “bad kid.”
“It just makes it hard,” Robins said. “After a while you can put people into a position where they want to do wrong.”
But some say it’s time for the media to move on.
“I swear to God, I thought this was over last year,” Russell Read, 19, of Coconut Creek, said.
Standing outside the Cruzan Amphitheatre, awaiting a performance by New Orleans rap artist Lil’ Wayne, Read said the media are distracting the public from more important events around the world. And besides, not everything was known about the night Martin died, he believes.
“It’s hard for me to believe that Trayvon Martin wasn’t doing something wrong,” he said. “I’m sure he was looking around, doing something sketch.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.