SANFORD, Fla. — In front of the Seminole County Criminal Justice Center where George Zimmerman was granted bond, Pastor Terry Jones, the Gainesville, Fla., church leader who burned a Quran last year, gave a fiery speech Saturday in which he demanded the constitutional rights of Zimmerman be protected as his case moves through the judicial system.
"I am in no way taking a position on whether Zimmerman is guilty or innocent. I am here for truth and justice and standing up for the constitutional rights," said Jones, who heads Dove World Outreach Center and carries a pistol for his own protection. "Some of the black community just decided Zimmerman is guilty. I say there has to be due process. In America, you are innocent until proven guilty."
Standing in front of about two dozen supporters, Jones said he traveled to Sanford to directly address simmering racial tension in the community which he blamed on "poisonous" black leaders Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. He said the two hijacked the controversial shooting case, fanned race-based fears and helped divide the town. Jones later acknowledged that he had not heard Sharpton, in particular, say anything racially provocative related to the case but said his response was based on comments Sharpton made in the past.
Sweet Baby Jesus On A Pogo Stick, I think we just jumped the shark.