Rachel Jeantel, the star witness in the George Zimmerman trial, testified today about the kind of language Trayvon Martin used to describe George Zimmerman. The question of racially charged language is significant because the prosecution has sought to cast Zimmerman as a vigilante who racially profiled Martin.
Jeantel, who was the last person to speak with Martin before he was shot and killed, said yesterday that Martin referred to Zimmerman by the n-word and as a “creepy-ass cracker.” Notably, Zimmerman did not use a racial slur to address Martin, potentially undermining the prosecution’s case that the shooting was racially motivated. Later, Jeantel clarified that she didn’t believe “cracker” was a racially charged word.
Following up on questions from the prosecution, defense attorney Don West asked Jeantel, “In the culture you live in, in your community, people there call white people ‘crackers.’” To which Jeantel replied, “Yes, sir.” However, when asked if she knew Martin to use words like “cracker” and the n-word, Jeantel paused before answering, “I don’t recall.”