|Trayvon Martin, from BET.com|
Where is there doubt? Well, nobody knows the actual sequence of events between the 911 tape and the arrival of the cops, except for Zimmerman. The witnesses have been contradictory and unreliable. The cops apparently let Zimmerman go with a reduced investigation, due to Florida's idiotic ALEC-scripted "stand your ground" law. So, evidence was lost. The prosecution was ham-handed, and seemingly borderline incompetent. So was the defense! The trial was a sad spectacle and sideshow. It followed in a long line of "marquee" cable-news-ready trials, and was one of the few I've paid any attention to.
The truth is, even though this trial became ridiculously overly saturated by the press (with MSNBC's countdown clock, and FOX "News"'s cheer leading for the defense), it wouldn't even have happened without a public outcry, and media attention. Because of the "frontier justice" laws of the batshit crazy state of Florida--Castle Law, Stand Your Ground, loosey-goosey self defense law--Zimmerman was let go with a minimum of forensic investigation. His blood alcohol level wasn't even tested.
|I don't know what happened (and neither do you), but|
I can tell you this: I fell while walking last week, into
gravel. I bled more--a lot more--than this.
The facts of the matter that cannot be escaped are: a) Martin was not doing anything wrong and was unarmed. b) Martin wasn't in an area he wasn't supposed to be in. c) It is not unreasonable for a 17-year-old kid to go to the store on his own on a weekend night at 7:00 pm. d) Zimmerman was not supposed to have a gun as a neighborhood watchman. e) Zimmerman shouldn't have had his gun not just loaded, but with a bullet ready to fire. f) Whatever Zimmerman's fears for his life, Martin had just as much reason to be alarmed at being followed by a strange, unidentified man. g) The kid is dead, and can't speak for himself. h) Pot doesn't make you aggressively anything, except possibly aggressively hungry. And he wasn't eating his Skittles.
I could probably carry out those indisputable facts to z). We don't know who initiated the brawl between the men. We don't know whose voice (maybe both?) we heard on the tape. We don't know if Zimmerman was truly being beaten within an inch of his life, or just felt like he was. What we do know is that a kid is dead, and nobody is being held accountable. We know that--using this case as precedent--if you get into a fight, and you are losing (and have a gun!), you can shoot the other guy, and get away scot free. At least in Florida.
[My best guess on this situation is that Zimm was gung-ho about catching a crook, thought he saw a perp, knew he himself had a gun, called in to 911 (as though he was calling dispatch), pursued the perp (whilst still on the line), was told "we don't need you to do that," and did it anyway. loose cannon and all that. The kid--freaked out by the guy following him, who has not identified himself--flees for a bit, then turns and "stands his ground." There is a tussle, a bit of "upper hand" back-and-forth," Trayvon gets the better of Zimm, and--remembering he has the piece--Zimm blows Martin away. It may have even been the recoil of the gun that bonked Zimm in the nose, and bounced his head off the ground.]
I'm saddened by this result. I wish there had been a third option for the jury, a wrongful death or negligent homicide option or something. Because Zimmerman getting off with nothing? For shooting a kid armed with Skittles!?! It's crazy. Insane. It's certainly not justice.