The Trayvon Martin shooting is all over the news and there is a lot of conflicting information out there, some of it most assuredly being leaked by police. As a former LEO, I get really incensed when I hear about improper behavior and the leaks about Trayvon’s background is completely unacceptable. While a defense attorney may try to blame the victim during a trial, the fact that officials are trying to blame the victim is disgusting.
Other aspects of this case stink to high heaven as well.
- The fact that the investigating officer wanted to file charges but was told not to,
- The fact that they never interviewed Trayvon’s girlfriend who was on the phone right up until the physical confrontation occurred (what kind of police department ignores the last phone conversation of a shooting victim that was almost simultaneous with the event!?!?)
- The fact that Zimmerman’s story is falling to pieces as more and more evidence comes to light.
Zimmerman’s attorney may have done more harm than good by making some statements that are demonstrably false. For example, the attorney and Zimmerman claim that Trayvon broke Zimmerman’s nose, slammed his head into the ground, etc so that Zimmerman felt his life was in jeopardy. However recent video obtained by ABC news clearly shows that Zimmerman looked fit as a fiddle when he was brought into the police station for questioning (note Zimmerman in the video is a lot more fit and not someone who would get beat up by a slim young teenager–he looks very different from the mugshot that has been circulating online).
Have you ever had you nose broken? Have you ever seen one broken? I broke my nose in a soccer game in college and although it didn’t gush blood, swelling began almost immediately and within a half hour I had two black eyes and bruising over the bridge of my nose. I’ve seen other noses get broken and there is usually blood and lots of it. Take a look at the video, there is nothing on Zimmerman’s clothes. By the time this video is taken, I can assure you plenty enough time had passed for injuries to appear on Zimmerman. Furthermore, the police are trained to look for injuries (even on persons of color) and compare those to the perps and the witness’ statements, and that clearly wasn’t done here (see the point above about how they ignored the phone evidence).
The courts need to get involved to figure this all out. The Feds should come down very hard on the Sanford Police Department, particularly for the release of private information about the victim and should be investigated to ensure that a pattern of racial discrimination is not present in other cases. Their behavior in this case certainly doesn’t bode well. Ultimately it seems, from what I read, that the Sanford Police Dept did fail to handle this case properly–all the facts on this particular point are pretty clear and undisputed. They violated all kinds of procedures.
In regards the town of Sanford, I used to live near Sanford, FL. The main office and the director of my district was in Sanford, the county seat. So my job required me to go there periodically in official capacities….about 20 years ago the society was very much divided into the haves and the have not’s–in fact, the majority of FL was/is this way, but it was particularly noticeable in Sanford, a lakeside town with large mansions and gated communities in sight of slums. Knowing what I do about Sanford and the attitudes of local law enforcement there, this cover up and failure to pursue Zimmerman does not surprise me in the least. Many parts of FL are just as backward as the rest of the Southeast U.S. (and I am a born and raised Southerner, so I have a right to say this).
Even if Zimmerman is never held criminally accountable, the Martin family can and should sue him civilly. The fact that Zimmerman was told by 911 to not follow Trayvon and his lack of injuries, is more than enough to make a civil case open and shut. It’s not much to assuage the loss Trayvon’s parents are feeling, but that may be the only justice they get in the end. I hope I’m wrong on this one..