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Rachel Jeantel Wishes She’d Acted ‘Different’ During George Zimmerman Trial

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Rachel Jeantel blames herself for George Zimmerman verdict.


Reported by Kacie Whaley

Over a year ago, 19-year-old Rachel Jeantel testified on behalf of her slain friend, Trayvon Martin.  After the shooter, George Zimmerman, was found ‘not guilty,’ some followers of the case not only accused the prosecutors for being unprepared but also criticized Jeantel for her behavior in court.  The Huffington Post called Jeantel “dismissive” and “aggressive,” with a “seemingly hostile attitude” that may have hurt the case.  Some critics even questioned her intelligence.

Now Jeantel is speaking out and revealing that she, too, holds some regret about her behavior in court.  CNN spoke with Jeantel this weekend and asked her whether she blamed herself for the outcome of the trial.  “A little bit,” she replied.

When asked whether she wished she would have said something different or acted differently, she responded “Yeah, act different.”

Jeantel said she thinks the jury did not take her seriously because they were wrongly judging her.

“They judge how they talk, how they look, how they dress,” Jeantel said of how the jury formed their opinions.

After the trial, Jeantel, who was reading and writing at a 3rd grade level, became motivated to improve her education.   Miami attorney Rod Vereen organized a support group called The Village.  This group provided Jeantel with counseling to cope with the loss of Martin, as well as intense tutoring that would sometimes be as long as six hours per day.

In May, all of Jeantel’s hard work paid off when she graduated high school.   Jeantel said that she is proud that she collected her diploma because it was something that she promised Trayvon that she would do.

Jeantel, well aware of all the negative things that people have said about her in the past year, wants to let her critics know that it is wrong to make up assumptions about her based on what was seen during the trial.  “You can’t judge a book by a cover,” Jeantel told CNN.

Watch the full segment here.

Sources: 1, 2


  1. Aishe

    July 13, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    The subtitles in that picture though…she is working on it. Give her a break. Stop judging. That’s black folks problem. Crabs in a bucket syndrome.

    • @Aishe

      July 14, 2014 at 10:42 am

      Another thing black people should do is have a funeral and bury the phrase “Crabs in a bucket” or “Crabs in a barrel” which is the correct phrase.

  2. ericaf

    July 13, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    Leave her alone. She was as much a victim. She was a witness against Zimmerman so they were there to tear an inexperienced girl down and place her in the worst possible light. She played into the hands of the savvy lawyers. No hard feelings here. George will get what’s coming to him soon enough.

  3. Toni

    July 13, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    I saw the interview with George Stephanopoulos this morning & was shocked in disbelief over the actions of the female prosecutor & her daughter that that was tweeting & making fun of Rachel. The fact that she & her daughter along with another female felt it to be ok to do what they did which I think she should be fired. Her daughter, may have some junk in her closet that the mother may not be aware of so, before judging others take a good look at your own & make sure it is spotless before going out poking fun Ms Prosecutor Attorney, the daughter & the friend who felt it ok

    • Regina

      July 13, 2014 at 6:38 pm

      It wasn’t the prosecutor and her daughter it was one of the defense attorney’s and his bestially bred brat.

  4. Deborah Bee

    July 13, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    It wasn’t her fault, the fix is in. If your black, either the whites (cops and/or citizens) can kill you and be acquitted; or if your black and just look at a white person sideways, your ass is going to prison. It’s hunting season year round, and we Blacks are the prey.

  5. Denise

    July 13, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    It’s not your fault at all Ms. Jeantel. This case was already closed before it opened. Not only did Zimmermans family pull strings without a struggle but it was obvious that the mock jury and mock trial was a joke. That’s why Zimmerman kept that ugly, cold-hearteded look on his face. But as said already, his payday will come rest assured. That’s a promise from God Himself.

  6. Diva

    July 14, 2014 at 8:46 am

    In response to Gloria j. I’d like to know if your son or daughter were murdered would you be so passive to say their MURDERER was innocent. Regardless of race…killing someone for minding their own business is ALWAYS MURDER. People are found innocent all the time that committ crimes but eventually their acts of evil catch up to them as will trayvon’s MURDERER will soon reap his evil doings.

  7. Bluebeard

    July 16, 2014 at 12:15 am

    She neefs to write a book and tell the teal story!!!

  8. Concerned

    July 16, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    Congrats Rachel. You did nothing wrong.

  9. rickylawson

    March 13, 2020 at 1:16 pm

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