I advocated yesterday for letting the facts come out in the shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman. And that’s still my position.
The case began to get attention when the Martins had to file a civil suit for release of the 911 tapes. I don’t blame the Martin parents for seeking justice for their dead son.
But there is another set of parents who don’t want to see their son sacrificed for political purposes if in fact he didn’t commit a crime:
Zimmerman’s father, a retired magistrate judge, fought back against those allegations in a recent letter to the Orlando Sentinel.
“The portrayal of George Zimmerman in the media, as well as the series of events that led to the tragic shooting, are false and extremely misleading,” Robert Zimmerman wrote. “Unfortunately, some individuals and organizations have used this tragedy to further their own causes and agendas. George is a Spanish-speaking minority with many black family members and friends. He would be the last to discriminate for any reason whatsoever.”
In an interview Friday, Zimmerman’s lawyer, Craig Sonner, told CNN that Zimmerman had recently mentored a black boy, taking him out to play basketball and participating in fund-raisers at the boy’s church.
“This is a case about self-defense, that’s what the trial is going to be about,” Mr. Sonner said. “It’s not about being angry over a racial issue.”
This case is not going to be as simple as some are making it out to be.
I hope the new prosecutors on the case can take a dispassionate view of the evidence, and do not charge or not charge based on appeasing the loudest voices.
Update: Per a local television story late yesterday, Zimmerman told police that Martin attacked him as Zimmerman attempted to return to his car, and a witness who saw Martin on top of Zimmerman punching him as well as physical evidence led police not to make an arrest. Of course, we don’t know if this is true, so hold off judgment, it just goes to explain why the case may not be open and shut from a prosecution perspective.