The case of Trayvon Martin is one that makes me cringe. It does for several reasons, but before I get into that, I want to look at a timeline.
On Febuary 26, 2012, an apparently self appointed neighborhood watch volunteer, George Zimmer, shot and killed 17 year-old Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman claimed self defense under a “stand your ground” law in Florida.
When I had lunch Wednesday with Ali Akbar, he was talking about the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, and I had to confess that I didn’t know enough about the case to have an opinion. My main suggestions were (a) we shouldn’t “try the case in the media” by offering opinions based on incomplete knowledge provided by news accounts that might be misleading; and (b) we should urge people to calm down and let the justice system work.
Obviously, it’s a very bad thing for a kid to get shot while walking home from the store with Skittles, and it’s very difficult to understand why the cops didn’t arrest George Zimmerman, but I remember the way left-wing bloggers rushed to judgment in the 2009 Kentucky census worker case, and wouldn’t want to be a part of that kind of ”trial by blog” reaction.
Given the nature of the story, and the fact that were no apparent witnesses at the time, I chose to follow the story, but not write about it until more evidence was in. These stories tend to “morph” as more evidence comes to light, and it is far too easy to jump to a completely false conclusion, based on incomplete information.
Of course, at that point, politcal opportunists jumped at the chance to use this young man’s death to smear oppenents and to support their own pet causes.
Then, the same commentator decided that Rush Limbaugh, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and Mitt Romney were to blame…
So, the same commentator blamed half the planet for the tradgedy. Which leads me to ask, which is it? The Koch’s, Limbaugh, Gingrich, Santorum? Or, for the hell of it, why not blame Sarah Palin?
Of course, the New Black Panthers have put out a $10,000 bounty on Zimmerman, dead or alive. Spike Lee decided to tweet Zimmerman’s address-twice, so as to jeopardize his safety. Louise Farrakahn also made some threats…
So, you have anti-gun folks, anti-freedom folks, and racists-all making their cases. But, taking a look at what we actually know might be a bit more helpful.
First off, there is a possible racial slur in Zimmerman’s police call…
Also, it is know that during Zimmerman’s police call, he was told NOT to follow Martin, and let the police handle it. It is confirmed that Zimmerman did follow, and confronted Martin. What happened after that is cloudy at best.
Then, Zimmerman’s lawyer came forward…
This is still unfolding, so there will likely be more to add.