Sunday, July 14, 2013

Fair Warning: George Zimmerman is Loose on the Streets

Trayvon Martin, from
Oh, I'm sorry. Is that headline a little harsh? I don't really care, at this point. While I can certainly understand the vagueries of the letter of the law, and the difficulty of proving murder beyond a reasonable doubt, there is no doubt that a kid was killed, and that George Zimmerman killed him. There is no doubt that Trayvon Martin--surely not a perfect kid, but by no measure a "thug" as he's often been portrayed--was unarmed (no, a "sidewalk" doesn't count). There is no doubt that if Zimmerman had stayed in his truck, that this case would never have happened.

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.
So, no, I can't state with any assurance that Zimmerman was definitely guilty, and has gotten away with murder. And as a juror (who would have gotten more info than I have as a semi-casual observer), I may have had a hard time hanging 2nd-degree murder around his neck. But it was manslaughter. At least.

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.


  1. Of course, you don't point out that Martin could have moved along as well but he chose to fight it out and in the end, he lost.
    It'd too bad he died but his death was politicalized by Obama and the DOJ along with political grandstanding by others and on both sides.
    However, the verdict was correct and I will sleep good tonight knowing Zimmerman and others like him are watching out for us, especially since the cops can't be everywhere at all times. (except at a donut shop)

  2. We have little proof of the sequence of events beyond Zimmerman's inconsistent story. And there WERE huge inconsistencies in his story. Just two of them would be the distance between the sidewalk, and where the body was found; and the fact that there were no "bushes" for Martin to have jumped out from.

    I'm very surprised that this became a right vs. left story, and was heartened when my ultra-right-wing mother came down on my side of this one. As she said, a kid went to the store, a guy followed him with a gun and killed him. He's guilty.

    I also can't see how anybody could root for this guy, who wasn't supposed to have a gun--certainly wasn't supposed to have a bullet in the chamber ready to fire--wasn't supposed to pursue, and told a flimsy story. And the way he was portrayed in court? A fat, soft, seemingly developmentally disabled, uncoordinated dullard? THAT is who you want watching out for us? Yikes.

  3. I don't root for Zimmerman but did root for rule of law to be filed. I think he was railroaded from the beginning (or at least when the media took over).
    I also think African-Americans should fear the African-Americans than the George Zimmerman's of the world.
    Finally, if a cop was in this similar position, they would have been acquitted as well.


Have something to say to us? Post it here!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...