I first became aware of George Zimmerman's slaying of 17-year old Trayvon Martin in a March 17 column by Leonard Pitt.What we do know is a 17-year old boy was walking home, and now he's dead...when you have questions like that, they need to be answered. - Pam Bondi, Florida Attorney General
It happened like this. He was visting his father watching hoops on television. At halftime, he left his dad's townhouse in a gated community and walked to a 7-Eleven for snacks. There was a light drizzle, and he was wearing a hooded sweatshirt and jeans. On the way back, he drew the attention of George Zimmerman, captain of the Neighborhood Watch. Zimmerman, who is white, called police from his SUV and told them he was following a "suspicious" character. The dispatcher promised to send a prowl car and told Zimmerman to stay in his vehicle.
He didn't. When police arrived, they found him with a bloody nose and Martin face down on the grass not far from his father's door, a gunshot wound in his chest. Zimmerman said he shot the boy in self-defense. The police did not arrest him. . . .
. . . All of which raises a number of pressing questions:
How can you get out of your truck against police advice, instigate a fight, get your nose bloodied in said fight, shoot the person you were fighting with, and claim self defense? If anyone was defending himself, wasn't it Trayvon Martin?Over the next several days, we were bombarded with images such as this one, calling for the arrest of George Zimmerman.
Or this one, courtesy of the New Black Panther Party:
White supremacists countered the spin over the weekend with the following photo sourced from the Stormfront website, which received wide distribution thanks to Michelle Malkin:
Human memory is a fickle thing, as our brain processes information to fit our pre-existing biases, and even modifies memories to help our self-esteem. As more time passes, eye witnesses (incredibly unreliable to begin with) become less reliable as they incorporate what they read and hear into their memory of what actually happened.
Fortunately, we live in a nation of laws, and George Zimmerman will most likely have his day in court (at this point, the only vindication he can hope for is full disclosure of the facts at trial). What someone may or may not have seen in a grainy surveillance video that only partially shows George Zimmerman's face, or what someone may have heard or thought they heard through a closed window as they hid in their closet and called 911, ultimately won't matter. What will matter is the physical evidence collected by the Sanford Police department, which includes treating George Zimmerman for injuries he claims to have received from Trayvon Martin.
I expect that a trial, when it comes, will answer some of the questions I have, such as:
I also feel that the media's performance in this case has been deplorable, and that there is no possible justification for the way this story has been spun to generate outrage.