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Zimmerman’s not-guilty verdict doesn’t make him totally innocent



Published: Wed, August 7, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

Some THREE weeks after a jury found George Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder or manslaughter, I’m taken aback by the comments still being made about the incident. The rants of opportunist demagogues like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson have thankfully diminished, but there are now some voices trying to demonize Trayvon Martin while others try to trivialize the event by citing examples of black-on-white and black-on-black violence that did not receive the same level of national coverage.

While there was a racial element in Zimmerman’s singling out Martin for surveillance, it is understandable. If, as reported, homes in the community were recently robbed by young black men, Zimmerman was justified in notifying the police of a possibly suspicious interloper in the community.

Where Zimmerman crossed the line between block-watch and vigilantism is when he decided to get out of his vehicle and follow Martin despite explicit police instructions not to and at odds with national neighborhood-watch rules.

The question that begs an answer is whether or not Zimmerman would have chosen to stalk Martin had he not been armed. By his own admission he was being pummeled by a 5-foot-11-inch, 158-pound teen, notwithstanding false Internet claims that Martin was over 6 feet tall and weighed over 200 pounds. That beating itself would indicate Zimmerman’s lack of rudimentary self-defense skills that would certainly dissuade any rational person from provoking a confrontation.

The courage Zimmerman derived from his Kel-Tec PF-9 9mm pistol obviously emboldened him in the escalation of events that led to Martin’s death. This tragedy could have been avoided if neighborhood watch volunteers were required to leave their weapons at home while on duty.

While I believe that the jury’s verdict of not guilty of murder or manslaughter was appropriate, it does not mean that Zimmerman is innocent. His actions assuredly make him morally responsible for the death of a 17-year-old boy, who was doing absolutely nothing wrong at the time. This is a fact with which he must live for the rest of his life. That the victim was black is no more or less tragic than if he were white, Hispanic or Oriental.

Robert F. Mollic, Liberty Township


Comments

1whoa21(16 comments)posted 11 months ago

I have the same thoughts regarding the case. Would Zimmeran have been so bold if he did not have a concealed weapon. The fact that he approached a young man that opposed no threat to him or the community was the elephant in the room. The court has spoken, he has live with the taking of a life when he had a gun and the kid had skittles and a can of iced tea in his possession.

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2Alexinytown(246 comments)posted 11 months ago

I don't think bringing up black on white or black on black crime trivializes the case at all. It is a legitimate criticism, and one the media cannot defend. I mean, let's be fair about it. If the reverse was true in this case, would the national media have seized on this case with the same vigor?

Absolutely not, because it does not fit their narrative. In Baltimore's Little Italy, an employee leaving his job at a restaurant late in the evening got beaten to a pulp by fourteen African American youth. Why didn't the media make a national fuss over that case? 14 on 1 is a pretty big deal I think, but apparently the media doesn't think so, and certainly not Mr. Sharpton or Mr. Jackson.

We need a real honest discussion about race in America, but don't count on the media to do any favors making it happen. For them, it is a one way street and they will actively black out anything that goes against their point of view.

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3palmer16121(115 comments)posted 10 months, 4 weeks ago

Mouse, i'm thinking that it's more to do with not wanting to get into an already hellish situation, and making it worse. The best they have done was to call 911. While I have been quiet about the Zimmerman trial...I will say that his legal woes aren't exactly over yet either. He still may well face a wrongful death suit against him.

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4dmacker(242 comments)posted 10 months, 1 week ago

According to this article Zimmerman got out of his car and followed Martin "despite explicit police instructions not to". That is no accurate on two levels. The tape of the conversation with a civilian dispatcher not a police officer told Zimmerman "we don't need you to do that" but then followed up with a question of "where is he now". A question that suggests Zimmerman find out where Martin is by locating him.

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