Okay, the Zimmerman trial has come and gone. It’s over. Was the outcome one that everyone wanted to see? Certainly not. And, no matter what could have happened in that Florida courtroom, Trayvon Martin would still be gone. No, gone is not the correct word. Trayvon Martin is dead. His parents will never see their son again, and I, for one, cannot imagine the pain they’ve suffered as a result of his fatal encounter with George Zimmerman.
But what actually happened that night? Did George Zimmerman act out some sort of perverted fantasy of killing a black guy who wore hoodies and enjoyed Skittles? Was “Georgie” as his friends called him, a closet racist? Does he despise African American teens? Well, let’s first examine the racial aspects of this not-so-complicated case.
Shortly after Martin died much of the news media began to paint Zimmerman as a racist who’d apparently targeted Trayvon Martin simply because he was black. In fact, NBC news even went as far as editing portions of Zimmerman’s call to 911, which seemingly bolstered those claims of racism. However, by the time the entire 911 call was made public it was far too late. The racism claim had consumed the entire country.
Zimmerman’s actual statements to the 911 call-taker/dispatcher.
Zimmerman – “This guy looks like he’s up to no good. Or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.”
Dispatcher – “OK, and this guy – is he black, white, or Hispanic?”
Zimmerman – “He looks black.”
Now, here’s what NBC broadcast to the public.
“This guy looks like he’s up to no good…. He looks black.”
There’s a huge difference between the two, and NBC’s edited version certainly makes Zimmerman appear to think the suspect was up to no good merely because of the color of his skin. Not so, though. What Zimmerman actually reported can be heard on any number of police radios all across the country. That’s how police narrow the field, so they won’t be looking for a suspect of the wrong race. It’s a logical question and response. For example:
Caller – “There’s a man in the liquor store with a gun. Oh my God, he just shot the clerk and now he’s running away!”
Dispatcher – “Can you give me a description?”
Caller – “He’s a big guy wearing a hoodie.”
Dispatcher – “How about his race? Is he white, black, Hispanic?”
Caller – “He looks white… Hold on… Yes, he’s white for sure. The hood just fell away from his face.”
Okay, now police can focus only on the white men wearing hoodies near the liquor store. Nothing racist about the description. In fact, it’s a totally necessary description. And that’s exactly what Zimmerman offered to the police dispatcher, that the man in question appeared to be black.
It was this edited 911 call that basically ignited the racism aspect of the case. Of course, President Obama didn’t help matters at all when he made his comment, “You know, if I had a son he’d look like Trayvon.” You know, I don’t believe the president of the United States has any business poking his nose into a local criminal case, especially before the evidence has been gathered. His premature statement was like pouring gasoline on a campfire. It sent the cries of racism through the roof, and the aftermath was brutal, and it came without first knowing the facts. It was a knee-jerk reaction of huge proportion.
A large segment of the population screamed, protested, and demanded that neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman be arrested, and he was, eventually. But not before Chief of Police Bill Lee lost his job for no more reason than his department wasn’t able to find enough probable cause to arrest George Zimmerman. Neither could the local prosecutor.
In fact, just last week, Chief Lee told CNN’s George Howell in an exclusive interview that he was pressured by city officials to arrest Zimmerman to placate the public. “It was (relayed) to me that they just wanted an arrest,” said Lee. “They didn’t care if it got dismissed later,” he said. “You don’t do that.”
So the governor of Florida appointed a special prosecutor to the case, and she, Angela Corey, wasted no time in pacifying the public when she charged George Zimmerman with 2nd degree murder based on the same evidence (or lack of) that Chief Lee, his investigators, and the local prosecutor didn’t believe was enough to even establish weak probable cause to arrest.
But now we all know that Chief Lee and his staff did their jobs. Sure, there were a few missteps, such as not bagging the hands of the victim and placing wet clothing in plastic bags instead of paper, (readers of this blog know that paper allows proper air drying for the preservation of DNA and blood evidence). Luckily, though, neither of those oversights were important to this case since the identity of the shooter was known all along.
We also know that Prosecutor Norm Wolfinger did his job correctly by not bringing charges against Zimmerman, because there simply wasn’t enough evidence to garner a conviction of any type, including manslaughter.
Florida State Attorney Angela Corey was the appointed prosecutor who charged, or over-charged, Zimmerman with 2nd degree murder. And I say over-charged because there wasn’t even the tiniest shred of evidence that pointed to 2nd degree murder. So this is basically what the prosecution had to offer as far evidence in this highly-charged, high-profile case…
– Second-degree murder in Florida is defined as a killing carried out with hatred, ill will, or spite, but is not premeditated. Basically, the only thing separating this charge from 1st degree murder is the lack of premeditation. There absolutely was no indication of Zimmerman having any hatred, ill will, or spite toward Martin. None. Unfortunately, it appears that the special prosecutor succumbed to political pressure and charged Zimmerman merely to…well, I’ll leave opinion out of this and stick to the facts I know. And that means I have no way of knowing what Angela Corey was thinking when she brought the charges, no more than she could’ve known what thoughts were zipping through Zimmerman’s mind on the night he shot Trayvon Martin.
– The prosecution offered the tape of someone, either Martin or Zimmerman, screaming for help. Well, both sides claim it was their person who was doing the screaming. Therefore, this, as evidence, was rendered a moot point. You know, though, at the beginning of the investigation, police officers said that Martin’s father answered “No,” when they asked if it was Trayvon’s voice he heard on the tape.
– A lack of physical evidence (blood, DNA, etc.) on both Zimmerman and Martin. It was raining that night, which more than likely washed away what little evidence there was, if any. I’ve investigated more than my share of homicides in my day, and I’ve seen murder victims who bled very little, if any, from gunshot wounds. I’ve also investigated cases on nights when the sky opened up sending buckets of rain onto the scene and the victim’s body. The evidence is quickly destroyed if the area isn’t quickly protected, and sometimes it impossible to do so due to response times and other difficulties.
– Testimony of witnesses…for the most part, each of the witnesses had something to say that backed Zimmerman’s accounting of the shooting.
In other words, There wasn’t enough evidence to charge George Zimmerman with even the lesser of the charges, manslaughter. And there certainly wasn’t enough evidence to convict him of murder. Not even close.
Even so, after being presented with the lack of evidence and the evidence that proved Zimmerman was not guilty of the charges brought against him, there are people across the country who still believe Martin’s death was racially motivated. And those people are taking to the streets, even as far away as Oakland, California, to destroy the property of hard-working men and women who have absolutely nothing to do with George Zimmerman or Trayvon Martin.
The protestors using violence to express their “concerns” are basically diminishing the cause when they break storefront windows, block traffic, destroy police cars, set fires, and burn American flags that belong to businesses.
You know, if you want to protest by burning an American flag, spend your own money to buy your own flag to burn instead of stealing one from a fast food restaurant. You want to break a window, break the glass on your own house, not at a store owned by people no better off than you. You want to seek revenge on the police, do it on election day by voting the people out of office who support the officials that don’t share your beliefs. After all, repairing or replacing a police car is no big deal. The government simply draws the necessary funds to do so out of our tax dollars. Same thing with out of control, violent protests. We have to pay the police overtime to handle to violence, and where do you think the money comes from to pay them? We all suffer from these acts of stupidity, not the government.
Finally, the president of the United States of America should be savvy enough to wait until the evidence comes in before openly taking sides in a local criminal matter. Besides, he above all others should be perfectly aware of the consequences of wading into an issue without first doing some pretty extensive homework. Didn’t he sort of inherit a war that was based on faulty intelligence?
Remember folks, George Zimmerman was found not guilty, but that doesn’t mean the jury found him innocent. They did the best they could with the evidence presented to them, which wasn’t much at all. And, based on my experience and the fact that there’s no such thing as a perfect crime, having no evidence is a good indicator that someone’s not guilty.
The jury was right in this case. No doubt about it.
And to those of you who’re itching to protest senseless killings, I can list hundreds of them all over the U.S., including a dozen or so recent murders in the Savannah, Ga area, starting with 21-year-old Rebecca Foley who was shot dead as she drove into her apartment parking lot after a long day at work. Mr. President, I have to ask, if you had another daughter would she look like Rebecca?
What about, Michael Biancosino and Emily Pickels who were shot dead while driving home after work?
How about Amber DeLoatch, who was assaulted, strangled, raped, and murdered, and then placed into the trunk of her car. Her killer then set the vehicle on fire. DeLoatch’s charred remains were later discovered by police.
What kind of human could do that sort of thing to another human?
36-year-old Shan Demetrius Cheley has been indicted for DeLoatch’s murder. Cheley has an extensive criminal history.
And let’s not forget Chicago, where 67 people were shot (11 killed) during the 4th of July weekend alone. Forty-six were shot (8 killed) on Father’s Day.
I could go on and on listing the shootings that occur in this country every day, but I won’t. But I will continue to wonder why there’s no outrage over these senseless killings. Where are the protestors? Where’s the anger? Are these lives not as important as another?
Who do these murder victims look like…Biden, Pelosi, Clinton, Holder, Romney?
I say our government officials need to worry about Snowden and the IRS, and leave policing to the good, hardworking people who know what they’re doing.
There is no place for politics when it comes to crime-solving.
*I chose the cases above because they were the ones most accessible to me. Race had nothing to do with my posting them. Sadly, there are plenty of murder victims—far too many—of all races. Killers too.