By: Brian Woodward

Al Sharpton

“There is another class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs — partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.” ― Booker T. Washington

Trayvon Martin should not be dead, but the reason that he is, does not have to do with the color of his skin. Other than pure speculation, there is no evidence to suggest that this incident had anything to do with race. However, as the prior quote asserts, men like Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and Louis Farrakhan love to swoop in and soak up the media attention. It does not matter to them whether they are right (remember the Duke lacrosse rape case?), just as long as they get their publicity and fame. They are dividers not uniters. Tell me in what way is it helpful to tweet, as Louis Farrakhan did “Where there is no justice, there will be no peace. Soon the law of retaliation may very well be applied. #Trayvon”. Sounds to me like someone attempting to incite upheaval. It also seems to deviate from what Martin Luther King Jr. stood for, peaceful protest. Furthermore, when the F.B.I looked into the shooting death, their investigation concluded Zimmerman was not a racist. Nevertheless playing the race card always brings in the ratings and thats what most news networks did.

President Barack Obama


Jesse Jackson
President Barack Obama spoke these words in his famous 2004 speech at the Democratic National Convention, “There is not a Black America and a White America and Latino America and Asian America—there's the United States of America.” They were eloquent words and a reflection of America’s progress towards equality for all citizens. In the wake of the acquittal of George Zimmerman, the President made statements that ran counter to his 2004 assertion. While addressing the press he stated, “if a white male teen were involved in the same kind of scenario, that from top to bottom both the outcome and aftermath might have been different.” Not only is that an insinuation that the shooting was racially motivated but it also asserts that the six jurors and the judicial system of Florida applies justice unequally. 

Glenn Garvin from the Miami Herald gave some insight that probably did not make it to most of the cable news shows, that air time is reserved for doctored 911 calls, and misleading photos. Mr. Garvin wrote in his column, “There is no war on black men, at least not by white men. Last year, the Scripps-Howard News Service studied half a million homicide reports and found that killings of black victims by white attackers have actually dropped over the past 30 years, from 4,745 during the 1980s to 4,380 during the first decade of the 2000s. There were nearly twice as many white victims killed by black assailants: 8,503 in the 1980s, and 8,530 in the 2000s.”

This shooting was framed by the media as one of racial hatred. The verdict was viewed by the talking heads as appalling. However, if there is anyone to blame for the complete acquittal of Zimmerman that would be the district attorney’s office. They charged Zimmerman with 2nd degree murder, a charge almost all legal experts predicted would not stick. At the conclusion of the case, knowing they (the prosecution) had not been able to prove murder they asked the judge to instruct the jury to consider manslaughter. Thomas Sowell, an African-American economist, intellectual, and nationally syndicated columnist had this to say:

“They had no hard evidence that would back up a murder charge or even a manslaughter charge.You don't send people to prison on the basis of what other people imagine, or on the basis of media sound bites like ‘shooting an unarmed child,’ when that ‘child’ was beating him bloody. Once the issue boiled down to hard, provable facts, the prosecutors' loud histrionic assertions and sweeping innuendos were just not going to cut it.”

The prosecution acted arrogantly thinking since much of the media was on their side. They felt they could charge Zimmerman with murder in the 2nd degree. However, 2nd degree murder requires a depraved mind. The statute reads, “Murder with a Depraved Mind occurs when a person is killed, without any premeditated design, by an act imminently dangerous to another and evincing a depraved mind showing no regard for human life.” We all know that did not happen “beyond a shadow of a doubt” The three different definitions of manslaughter in Florida did not hold much promise in getting a guilty verdict either.

George Zimmerman was told by the 911 operator not to follow Trayvon but he did. Why? Did he feel directly threatened at that point with a loaded pistol? There is no doubt that fault is to be found on Zimmerman’s part in what occurred. However, it is quite clear that he did not intend or want to kill Trayvon. There was a struggle. He fired his weapon with intent to incapacitate but not to kill. Juror B-37 determined that Trayvon was the aggressor, and we are unsure how many other jurors share that view.

Zimmerman’s life will never be safe again not in Florida, and probably not not in the United States. I would move far far away if I were him, he has to live with the unfortunate reality that he killed a 17 yr old. Furthermore. he has to deal with the various threats against him and his family being harmed for the rest of his life, that is punishment enough. I do not consider himself a threat to society so incarceration in my view does no good , its simply continues to cost the taxpayer.

I do not think race had any sort of consequential role in this case. I think Zimmerman is ultimately guilty of lesser charges, possibly culpable negligence. The trial revealed that he is not your standard citizen, with the local police chief asserting he had a bit of a “hero complex”. However, I think that the defense attorney, Don West, phrased it best, there is no reason to turn this “tragedy into a travesty”. We do not have to ruin another’s life because a set of intensely bizarre and aggressive occurrences. It is sad that a 17 year old is dead, but this is neither representative of racial prejudice in today’s society nor an errant ruling on the juror’s part. 


tsiya said…
When was Zimmerman "told not to follow"?
James Edstrom said…
He was told by the 911 operator not to follow.
Anonymous said…
He stopped following TM within 6 seconds after being asked. He lost TM almost immediately. TM remained in hiding for 3 1/2 minutes then returned and attacked ZM. It's right there in the evidence.

You are ill informed on the issue of "following". Listen to the GZ audiotape for proof of GZ stopping and losing TM. Then analyze the timeline based on the phone records of the calls placed by GZ, RJ, W11 & JG. 3 1/2 gap sir. Establish the time that the first punch was hit a few seconds before the end of RJ' s call and compare with the following: the start of the screams about 20 seconds before W11 called 911, JG's interaction with TM & GZ and the start of his 911 call and the time of the gun shot 44 seconds after the start of W11's call. It's very easy to construct the actual encounter if you bother to study the evidence and have the capacity for logical thought.

GZ calmly accepted TM getting away (listen to his dialogue with Dispatch), while instead TM lay in hiding. TM returns to teach GZ a lesson for dissing him and violently attacks GZ. (RJ may well have egged him on). TM most likely panicked when GZ started screaming for help and JG shows up and states he's calling police. At that point TM would have likely feared arrest & prison so decided to knock out or kill GZ, hence the head bashing on the concrete sidewalk. If GZ was telling the truth and TM saw the gun and stated his intention to kill GZ, that little indulgence in cruelty by TM allowed GZ the extra second to grab the gun first.

Study the evidence and think logically. It's all in there.
Anonymous said…
No 911 "said we don't NEED you to do that"
James Edstrom said…
I'm glad we have readers to study the case. Thanks for all your thoughts.
piytar said…
Facts don’t matter to the race-baiters or their intentionally ill-educated subjects.
Anonymous said…
(From anonymous with 6:40 AM post)

Your basic premise is wrong.

GZ has no culpability whatsoever because while he was following TM, he was DIRECTLY coordinating his actions with Dispatch. Listen to the audiotape. And yes, GZ STOPPED FOLLOWING TM WHEN ASKED!! That GZ "didn't obey Police" is the goofiest, most often repeated and most easily refuted nonsense on this whole case. PLEASE, LISTEN TO THE AUDIOTAPE. Why after 15 months since the release of the audiotape are we even having this conversation?

And yes, TM came out of hiding after 3 1/2 minutes and returned to confront and give "whoop ass" to GZ. GZ even endured 75-80 seconds of attack and refrained from using his gun. He endured getting his head bashed multiple times into the sidewalk and refrained from using his gun. If GZ is telling truth (he volunteered and passed lie detector test), he tried the only retreat left to him, as he was pinned, to shift his head off the concrete. And still did not use deadly force! He far, far exceeded any tolerance of SYG, or even traditional, must-retreat Self Defense. Only (if GZ is telling the truth) did he shoot TM, when he had a very reasonable belief that TM saw his gun and planned to use it against him.

Please review the evidence and use logic. Thank you.
James Edstrom said…
Point taken,I will have to go back and listen.
Robby S said…
I think this is a good assessment of the case. Zimmerman used bad judgement and as a result, a 17-year old boy is dead. He should have been punished. But what can think of the remarks the President of the United States but that he was wrong to open his mouth. He seems obsessed with race
Anonymous said…
He got out of the truck. By doing so, he put himself in danger. Even if you have a gun, going after someone in the dark is very, very dangerous. A more prudent person would have sat tight. The man made a mistake. He was not guilty of murder but of an imprudent act that led to a man’s death.
BrianW said…
What basic premise? The story was written by me, James is the editor. All he said in the comments was that he was told by dispatch to not follow -- "We don't need you to do that" was the actual words uttered by the non-emergency dispatch when he said he was following Trayvon.

My main premise is that 1) there was no racism involved 2) the jury got the verdict right 3) Both Zimmerman and Trayvon could have taken actions that would have prevented the situation 4) GZ's life was never threatened until he stepped outside of his vehicle, whether or not he started to return after dispatch told him, still does not rationally resolve why an individual describing a situation where a person is not actively committing a crime, not actively presenting a threat, feels the need to pursue outside of a vehicle with what has to be assumed as the upper hand or at the very least equal footing ( a loaded gun) -- That is overzealous. It is not necessarily a crime to be overzealous, but if you study the statues something like "culpable negligence" would be the only thing that would fit in this particular case. There is a responsibility that one takes on when one decides to carry a firearm, one is potentially responsible for accidental discharges, mistaken situations, etc --
James Edstrom said…
All great comments.