At this point I must say that the question of guilt or not on the part of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin has been lost to the total bizarre nature of how this case has ended up.
Where this began in late February in no way resembles where we are today – and it’s not because of crack police work, new evidence or witnesses or anything like that.
From a CNN.com story:
“Although details of the shooting remain murky, what is known is that Martin ventured out from the home of his father’s fiancee in Sanford and went to a nearby convenience store, where he bought a bag of Skittles and an Arizona Iced Tea.
“On his way back, he had a confrontation with Zimmerman, who shot him.
“Zimmerman had called 911 to complain about a suspicious person in the neighborhood, according to authorities.
“In the call, Zimmerman said he was following Martin after the teen started to run, prompting the dispatcher to tell him, ‘We don’t need you to do that.’ Zimmerman pursued Martin anyway but then said he lost sight of him.
“According to an Orlando Sentinel story later confirmed by Sanford police, Zimmerman told authorities that after he briefly lost track of Martin, the teen approached him. After the two exchanged words, Zimmerman said, he reached for his cell phone, and then Martin punched him in the nose. Zimmerman said Martin pinned him to the ground and began slamming his head onto the sidewalk, leading to the shooting
“Police have said Zimmerman was not immediately charged because there was no evidence to disprove his account that he had acted in self-defense. A police report indicated he was bleeding from the nose and the back of his head.
“In Friday’s hearing, an investigator for special prosecutor Angela Corey’s office said authorities have no evidence showing who started the altercation that led to Martin’s death.
” ‘Do I know? No,’ investigator Dale Gilbreath said when asked if he knew who started the fight.”
So the tragic part here is that Martin has died. Whether or not he started an altercation remains unknown. Zimmerman, however, is charged with second-degree murder. And that is based on what? How can the prosecutors charge someone without solid – or any – evidence, witnesses, etc.?
Again, I have real issues with Zimmerman carrying a loaded weapon and he should have listened to the dispatcher who told him to not follow Martin. However, that is a far cry from enough evidence to file charges that could land Zimmerman in prison for life.
It seems obvious to me that Florida law enforcement officials from the police to the prosecutor’s office have been pressured to charge this guy. And that I totally disagree with. If the evidence points to a legit reason to charge him, fine. But to me so far, it doesn’t seem to fit.
Look, if Zimmerman is the real culprit in this incident, fine. Arrest him, put him on trial and let the justice system work.
If we rush to bury this guy with charges due to public pressure and then send him to prison because there’s no way this guy’s getting a fair trial anywhere in Florida, then I have huge problems with the whole situation.
When an investigator says he has no idea who started the altercation that ultimately led to a fatal shooting, well, then it seems to me that a case just can’t be made.
I just don’t get how we got from Point A to Point B here. It doesn’t make sense. And it actually makes less sense then the whole crime itself. But Zimmerman should not be another sacrificial lamb here. If he can be PROVEN guilty, OK. But it sure seems to me that this investigation, police work and work by prosecutors is flimsy at best.
But as long as we “keep the peace,” I suppose that’s OK. Not in my book. What’s fair is fair and thus far, this isn’t cutting it.
— Andy Hachadorian