Much of what’s been said about the George Zimmerman case has involved race.

The victim, Trayvon Martin was black; the man who shot and killed him is Hispanic. That may be why one member of Zimmerman’s defense team, Channa Lloyd, is gaining attention.

In a case so inflamed by racially-charged opinion, it was almost impossible not to notice the young black woman on Zimmerman’s otherwise all-white defense team.

Lloyd said she had just one question for attorney Mark O’Mara.

“I asked him is George a racist. And he said no. I wouldn’t work for him if he was,” Lloyd said. “Being African American, even if he was a client in need of representation I don’t know that I would have been able to divorce that, and you to have to have proper representation and people who can do that.”

If one find Lloyd’s involvement in the defense of George Zimmerman surprising, you might be even more surprised to find out she’s a volunteer, working for free. Lloyd is a third year law student in Orlando, a 34-year-old intern working the case of a lifetime.


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Observations of Lloyd’s involvement ranges from her friends to the internet, with most people just being curious: who is she? What is she doing there?

“You know, kind of what our position is, what our role is,” Lloyd said. “Am I only there because I’m black? Those kind of things.”

One woman even tweeted, “Black women seated with Zimmerman defense team is on wrong side of the courtroom. Wrong side of history.” Lloyd has well-placed words for her.

“I would say that they’re not really aware of what history is. If they think that this is a completely racial issue, I would tell him or her to go back and revisit the case. I think it’s misplaced,” Lloyd said.

In the courtroom, for the most part she sits silently in the background with other interns. For the last year, she’s provided research and support, spending long hours and getting to know George Zimmerman.

Most importantly, she does not think Zimmerman is a racist.

“I can just kind of tell,” said Lloyd. “Being African American you encounter people who are racist and I just know that he’s not.”

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