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A nobody; a nitwit; a pilot; a motorcyclist; a raconteur; a lover...of life - who loves to laugh, who tries to not take myself (or anything) too seriously...just a normal guy who knows his place in the universe by being in touch with my spiritual side. What more is there?

01 April 2012

The Neighborhood Watch Guy

Call me crazy, but I thought that in this country you were presumed innocent until proven guilty? Apparently that is not the case with this George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch guy who shot Trayvon Martin, President Obama’s-son-if-Obama-had-a-son. The reporting of and reaction to this event is literally insane.

No matter who you talk to, no matter which newspaper you read or news report you hear/see, Zimmerman is presumed to be guilty of cold-blooded murder. The narrative is that Zimmerman hunted down Martin and killed him for wearing a hoodie while the boy was innocently walking home from a convenience store armed with a bottle of ice tea and a box of Skittles.

Me, I’ve got questions and plenty of them. Me, I’d like to hear the whole story before we string Zimmerman up. But here’s the deal: Only two people know exactly what went down that night and one of them is dead. So that’s a problem.

First of all, plug these coordinates into your favorite online map program: 28.792165, -81.331422. They will bring you to the Retreat View subdivision in Sanford, Florida. If you zoom in and look around, you’ll see car dealers, a school and a bank, but no convenience stores anywhere. So where was Martin coming from?

I’ve heard it reported that Zimmerman was “ordered” by the police to not follow Martin during Zimmerman’s call to 911 (which you can listen to HERE). Really? Not quite. The 911 Dispatcher asked Zimmerman if he was following the guy. When the reply was yes, the dispatcher in fact said, “Okay, we don’t need you to be doing that.”

So now my questions are: 1) Is the 911 Dispatcher a cop with authority to tell someone what or what not to do? 2) And what does the phrase, “We don’t need you to be doing that,” mean? Semantics, yes, but in my mind (and evidently in Zimmerman’s), the message is not so clear. To me it sounds more like advice, not an order. And let’s remember, it was Zimmerman who called 911 requesting police to respond in the first place.

People jump to some funny conclusions. It is generally assumed that Martin was hunted and gunned down by a lunatic, racist neighborhood watch guy. But one report I read said that the fatal gunshot wound was administered at extremely close range. Add to that the witness statements that both of them were on the ground with Zimmerman on the bottom. I am left wondering just what exactly was going on there? Zimmerman may well have been the aggressor, but what was Martin’s reaction? Perhaps Zimmerman really did fear for his life.

Which is probably why the police, who were on the scene fairly quickly did not immediately arrest Zimmerman, which ignited the public outcry and subsequent national furor. And now, more than a month after the event, even with all the protests and inquiries into the case by everyone up to and including President Obama and (of course!) Geraldo Rivera, Zimmerman still has not been arrested and charged. Oh, but he will be! Ironically, I think it will be nearly impossible for him to get a fair trial, if and when it comes to that.

And we do want Zimmerman to get a fair trial, don’t we? Well don’t we? The problem is, many people apparently don’t. It strikes me as doubly-ironic that guys like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are leading the lynch mob out to get Zimmerman. And you know what? That is a sad commentary on 2012 America.


Mike Morris said...

I agree. The public outcry for vengeance is making it hard for this to get a fair trial, when he's forced to stand trial. The DA already decided it was self defense and he wasn't held. I think that they want us to believe he was a crazed gun toting maniac. Like you said none of us can say exactly what happened. We need to use our system otherwise what's the point in having it.

Bob said...

Also, his parents seem to have become pawns in the entire ordeal, having been swept up in all of the "excitement," if you will. They appear to be decent people and I fear that the emotion they most need to express right now -- grief -- is being pushed down inside of them.

Well said, Bob.

Bob Barbanes: said...

Thank you, Mike, I could not have said it better myself!

Bob, sadly I had not thought much of Trayvon's parents. It might be cruel, but more and more my attitude toward these "broken" families is "What did you expect?" In other words, if people don't put more effort into making a successful family, then what do I care when things go horribly wrong? More and more we see children whose last names are different than their parents. And I guess I've become a little inured to it...a little callous.

I have a feeling that Trayvon is not 100% innocent in this deal even though that is how he is being portrayed. But we'll never know, will we?

Thank you both for your comments.