Florida ACLU Executive Director Howard Simon released the following statement after George Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder in the death of Trayvon Martin:
“When it became clear that the tragedy of Trayvon Martin’s death was exacerbated by problematic actions of the Sanford Police and local prosecutor, the ACLU of Florida joined in the call for outside investigators to more thoroughly examine what happened that night.
“As a result of that investigation, George Zimmerman is now being charged with second-degree murder.
“That more thorough investigation only happened because people marched, met, prayed, rallied and demanded that the criminal justice system not look the other way.
“Now that charges have been brought, we must remember that George Zimmerman has all the rights of every defendant charged with a crime, including a legal presumption of innocence until proven guilty.
“This is not the end of the story, but the wheels of justice are turning. The ACLU of Florida will continue to monitor this case as it unfolds to ensure that the rights of all parties – from the demonstrators marching in solidarity with Trayvon’s family to George Zimmerman himself – are not violated.”