The jury is still out in the second-degree Murder trial of George Zimmerman. He’s the volunteer neighborhood watch captain who shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin one night in Sanford, Florida. Zimmerman noticed Martin walking around the gated community “looking at all the houses” and “up to no good.” He called the non-emergency police line to report the incident, and after he left his vehicle, was attacked by Martin. Zimmerman responded by fatally shooting Martin once in the chest.
At first the police treated the incident as self-defence. Zimmerman claimed Martin jumped him from behind and knocked him to the ground. He then got on top of Zimmerman and began pummeling him with punches to the face. Zimmerman had injuries consistent with what he told police, mainly he had a broken nose and lacerations on the back of his head. There was also a witness to the incident who confirmed Zimmerman’s account of the attack. Zimmerman was licenced to carry a concealed handgun in the state of Florida. Then again, isn’t everyone
All those are facts, and if there’s one constant theme when it comes to this case, the facts don’t matter.
Almost from the beginning, the narrative of this case became less about the facts, and more about the knee-jerk assumptions. For instance, Zimmerman was a racist white guy who murdered a defenseless, innocent child because he was black and wearing a hoodie. Zimmerman’s not white, he’s Hispanic. Martin, though technically at 17 wasn’t an adult, wasn’t as innocent as some people would have you believe. The only reason he was in Sanford and not in Miami where he lived with his mother, was because he was serving his third suspension of the school year. He was suspended for having drug paraphernalia on school grounds. His mother sent him to stay with is father who lived in that gated community with his fiance.
I don’t envy the jury, not one bit. The six women who make up the jury have to decide what they want to do. By most accounts, the talking head legal experts on TV are saying the state didn’t meet its burden in proving beyond a reasonable doubt that George Zimmerman murdered Trayvon Martin. Then again, the state is also charging Zimmerman with a host of other possible charges including manslaughter and even child abuse. The point is, if the jury acquits Zimmerman on all charges, they risk provoking riots in the streets of Miami, the place Trayvon Martin was born and raised.
Who wants that on their conscious? Not me, that’s for sure.
If I was on that jury, I think I’d have to convict. I still remember the chaos and violence in Los Angeles immediately after the acquittal of the police officers charged in the beating of Rodney King. The riots lasted for six days. The riots resulted in 53 people killed, over two thousand people were injured, and over a billion dollars in property damage. All that because of a jury verdict that was contrary to the will of the mob.
George Zimmerman just isn’t worth it. Though, considering Florida’s idiotic gun laws, I do think he was technically, legally defending himself that night in Sanford. With that said, he seems like a bona fide idiot. Zimmerman also seems like a bit of a pussy. In my book, if you find someone on top of you punching your face in, you get them off you and punch them back. You don’t shoot them. If Zimmerman’s the kind of man who’s only recourse to someone punching them in the nose is to shoot them, he wasn’t cut out to be a volunteer neighborhood watch captain.
It wouldn’t bother me in the slightest to send him to prison if it meant avoiding a riot. One of my goals in life is to never cause a riot, especially a race riot.
UPDATE: The verdict is in and George Zimmerman was found not guilty.