Sunday, July 21, 2013

My Thoughts on the Trayvon Martin - George Zimmerman Incident

I have not posted much, if at all, on this incident because others have done so more competently than I could. But watching the reaction of some people over the verdict, I find myself at a loss to understand how people think that the verdict was an "injustice", and I wonder if they followed the trial testimony at all.  Typical of the is that of Molly Rose. of Palo Alto, CA published in the Opinion section of the San Jose Mercury News:

What if the races were reversed in incident?
Regarding the George Zimmerman trial and a juror statement that race did not play a role. Hogwash.
If the races were reversed, if a black man shot a white teenager because he thought he looked threatening, what do you think the verdict would have been?
Molly Rose
Palo Alto

I think that, yes indeed, if the races were reversed, but all other circumstances were the same, that a black man would be acquitted similarly as George Zimmerman.  Molly Rose is incorrect in her view of the crime. Zimmerman did not shoot Martin because he looked suspicious, but because Martin attacked Zimmerman.  Facts established at the trial indicate that this is the most likely interpretation of the evidence.

I find it incomprehensible that people think that Zimmerman stalked and shot Martin, presumably because Martin was Black, but the same people choose to ignore evidence (testimony and forensic evidence) that Martin was shot because Martin, at some point in the encounter, became an assailant.

A man is dead, which only happens when mistakes are made. And I believe that people in this incident made mistakes.  Should Zimmerman have followed Martin?  Probably not.  Should Zimmerman have engaged Martin in conversation? Probably not.  Both actions were unwise, but they were not illegal.  

But why in Hell did Martin attack Zimmerman, as evidence shows he did, instead of telling Zimmerman to go F**k himself and then walk away?  Zimmerman is not a cop and cannot order a citizen minding his own business to do anything.  Why did Martin not blow Zimmerman off?

So, mistakes were made, and now a man is dead.  But those calling for "justice" are wrong headed.  There was a trial, despite lack of evidence, and a jury rendered the verdict.  That is justice.  Calling for "Justice for Trayvon" when you don't like the verdict is not a call for justice, but for state-sponsored vigilantism.

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