Family Photo - Trayvon Martin, 17

Following up on my original post calling for the arrest of George Zimmerman, a position I still stand by, the Seminole County Police have finally turned the case over to the State Attorney’s Office. At this time, two weeks later, Zimmerman has still not been arrested. In fact, the Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee has repeatedly maintained, “In this case, Mr. Zimmerman has made the statement of self-defense. Until we can establish probable cause to dispute that, we don’t have the grounds to arrest him.”

For those of you who are unaware, Zimmerman followed Trayvon in his vehicle, made the decision to confront Trayvon despite dispatchers telling him to wait for police officers to arrive – which means he had to exit aforementioned vehicle – and when an altercation between the two individuals occurred, Trayvon, who was unarmed, was shot dead by a man who was armed and initiated the confrontation. By the context of these events, in my mind, almost every murder on Earth can be construed as self-defense. Are we all free to initiate a confrontation with individuals on the street, and then when things don’t go our way, we can shoot them because we were licensed to carry the gun we are using to shoot them with?

See Also:  Barack Obama, Trayvon Martin, and Coded Communication Amongst People of Color

I doubt it. I doubt it, because it doesn’t make any sense.

Although the case has been turned over to the State, I continue to have doubts the final outcome of this case will be satisfactory because of information like this from ABC News:

After the shooting, a source inside the police department told ABC News that a narcotics detective and not a homicide detective first approached Zimmerman. The detective peppered Zimmerman with questions, the source said, rather than allow Zimmerman to tell his story. Questions can lead a witness, the source said.

Another officer corrected a witness after she told him that she heard the teen cry for help.

The officer told the witness, a long-time teacher, it was Zimmerman who cried for help, said the witness. ABC News has spoken to the teacher and she confirmed that the officer corrected her when she said she heard the teenager shout for help.

As described above, I was somewhat concerned myself when I read Zimmerman had been interviewed by officers three times, yet no arrest were made. They labeled this as Zimmerman being “cooperative” but I worried it could also easily mean Zimmerman was being coached, implicitly or unknowingly. As anyone knows, if someone asks you the same questions enough times you start to figure out what they want to hear. That’s common sense. Unlike on CSI, I’m knowledgeable enough to recognize that people are “coached” all the time in real life on how they should answer questions. However, the difference is you’re supposed to be coached, lead, or other by your LAWYER, not the officers who are charged with enforcing the law (in a perfect world) without bias.

See Also:  Rest In Peace: Don Cornelius

An except from the Huffington Post didn’t offer much additional comfort:

Just how long the next phase of the case will take is unclear. A spokeswoman for the State Attorney’s Office said she has seen murder, homicide and manslaughter cases take upward of a couple years to be resolved.

The office’s statement released today said the process is subject to many factors, and that “setting a specific completion date at this time would be mere speculation.” Ultimately, its decisions will be “based on the law and the evidence,” it said.

The evidence it will use to decide will be provided by the Sanford Police Department. Lee has repeatedly said that his officers have found no evidence to contradict Zimmerman’s claims of self-defense.

Reported 2005 Photo of George Zimmerman

Like many others, I continue to await additional information about this increasingly bizarre story. The only moderately good news I’ve heard so far is the fact that the Martin’s attorney, Mr. Ben Crump, has entered a public records request for the rights to the 911 phone calls from that night. It has been rumored Zimmerman made a comment about Martin’s race and that he was going to pursue Martin despite the advice of the 911 dispatcher because, “they always get away.” I believe this call; along with the other 911 calls – there are reportedly over nine recordings – made by neighbors that night will give additional perspective on what really occurred. It should also give us a better understanding of Zimmerman’s state of mind when he got out of his vehicle to confront a man almost 10 years his junior and 100 pounds less in size and why he felt the need to “self-defend” himself from this unarmed young man. For now, all I know for sure is one young man is dead and the man who admitted to killing him continues to roam free.