Some Additional Information On The George Zimmerman Case

Today CNN reported the story of Ben Kruidbos, director of information technology for the Florida State Attorney‘s Office. Mr. Knuidbos has been on paid administrative leave since May 28. How is this relevant to George Zimmerman?

The article reports:

Kruidbos testified before Zimmerman’s trial began that Martin’s cell phone contained images of Martin blowing smoke, images of marijuana and deleted text messages regarding a transaction for a firearm and that those images had not been given to Zimmerman’s defense team.

He received the termination letter, dated July 11, on Friday, the same day jurors began deliberating Zimmerman’s case. The letter states: “It has come to our attention that you violated numerous State Attorney’s Office (SAO) policies and procedures and have engaged in deliberate misconduct that is especially egregious in light of your position.”

He was fired for refusing to be part of a cover-up.

The article further reports:

O’Mara (defense lawyer Mark O’Mara) said he learned about the missing information months after he was to have received it. “The only way that we really found out about it … and the only way that we really found out about the intensity of the failure to give us information was when a person from their own office, a whistle-blower, came forward and said, ‘I gave them that information in the middle to end of January’ and we didn’t get it until June 4th.”

He said he was “beyond” shocked. “It could have derailed the trial,” he said.

This is one example of the reason we need protection for whistleblowers.

Yesterday the Washington Times posted an article about the case, explaining why they felt that it should not have been prosecuted at all:

The jury in the Trayvon Martin case on Saturday night acquitted George Zimmerman, but it should never have gotten that far. The Florida State Attorney’s Office should have dismissed their case before submitting it to the jury. That’s what the law required.

The prosecution failed to prove the defendant’s guilt by any standard of evidence. And based on the standard of probable cause, dismissing the case would have been the right thing to do.

The events surrounding this case are unfortunate–one young man lost his life and another young man has essentially had his life ruined. There are no winners here, and flaming the fires of racial hatred does no one good. George Zimmerman has been tried and found not guilty. In a healthy society, it would end there. Unfortunately I wonder how healthy America is at this moment.

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The Verdict Is In

The jury in Florida has found George Zimmerman not guilty. The jury made that decision based on the evidence and information they were given. None of us are privy to the discussions that went on among the jury, and we would do well to accept that they made the correct decision based on the evidence they were given.

It is my hope that those people attempting to stir up racial strife based on the incident and trial involving George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin will accept this verdict. It is very unfortunate that Trayvon Martin is dead, but it would have been even more unfortunate to send a man to jail for twenty years because he defended himself against a physical threat. My sympathies go out to both families–to the Martin family for the loss of their son and to George Zimmerman as he strives to go back to living a normal life.

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Why The Freedom Of Information Act Is Important

PJMedia reported yesterday that documents obtained by Judicial Watch through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) show that the Department of Justice played a major behind-the-scenes role in organizing protests against George Zimmerman. George Zimmerman is currently on trial for the murder of Trayvon Martin. The Community Relations Service (CRS), a division of the Justice Department, was sent to Sanford, Florida, to organize rallies against George Zimmerman.

The article shows the timeline:

  • March 25 – 27, 2012, CRS spent $674.14 upon being “deployed to Sanford, FL to work marches, demonstrations, and rallies related to the shooting and death of an African-American teen by a neighborhood watch captain.”
  • March 25 – 28, 2012, CRS spent $1,142.84 “in Sanford, FL to work marches, demonstrations, and rallies related to the shooting and death of an African-American teen by a neighborhood watch captain.”
  • March 30 – April 1, 2012, CRS spent $892.55 in Sanford, FL “to provide support for protest deployment in Florida.”
  • March 30 – April 1, 2012, CRS spent an additional $751.60 in Sanford, FL “to provide technical assistance to the City of Sanford, event organizers, and law enforcement agencies for the march and rally on March 31.”
  • April 3 – 12, 2012, CRS spent $1,307.40 in Sanford, FL “to provide technical assistance, conciliation, and onsite mediation during demonstrations planned in Sanford.”
  • April 11-12, 2012, CRS spent $552.35 in Sanford, FL “to provide technical assistance for the preparation of possible marches and rallies related to the fatal shooting of a 17 year old African American male.” – expenses for employees to travel, eat, sleep?

What in the world were they thinking?

Meanwhile, MYWay News is reporting today the the judge in the Zimmerman case will allow the jury to consider a charge of manslaughter as well as the charge of second-degree murder. Essentially the rules have been changed at the end of the trial. George Zimmerman is facing 25 to 30 years in jail because he defended his life from someone he thought was trying to kill him. That seems a little unfair to me.

The article at MyWay reports:

It is standard for prosecutors in Florida murder cases to ask that the jury be allowed to consider lesser charges that were not actually brought against the defendant. And it is not unusual for judges to grant such requests.

Unfortunately, I suspect we will have riots if George Zimmerman is found innocent. That is unfortunate because the evidence seems to back up his claim that he was simply defending himself after he was attacked. The prosecution (and the media) has tried to paint a very negative picture of George Zimmerman. The media has pretty much ignored the fact that Trayvon Martin’s autopsy showed drugs in his system and that he had a history of aggressive behavior.

It is truly unfortunate that the government didn’t stay out of this trial. What were they thinking by getting involved?

 

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Confusing Justice With Politics

Investor’s Business Daily posted an article today showing the timeline of the arrest and trial of George Zimmerman. I haven’t written a lot about the George Zimmerman case because I think it is being hyped and used as a racial wedge issue.

However, the timeline in the article is revealing:

Feb. 26, 2012: Zimmerman shoots Martin, claiming self-defense; later released after police questioning.

March 12: Sanford, Fla., police chief insists there’s not enough evidence to charge Zimmerman, but turns investigation over to the state attorney’s office for review after protests from civil-rights groups.

March 20: Attorney General Holder launches investigation of police handling of case. U.S. prosecutors meet with Martin’s parents and the Rev. Al Sharpton.

March 22: Al Sharpton holds rally, yelling: “We came for permanent justice. Arrest Zimmerman now!”

March 22: Florida Gov. Rick Scott puts Corey on case; Corey decides not to let grand jury review evidence.

March 23: In White House press conference, President Obama expresses sympathy for Martin parents: “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.” He adds, “It’s absolutely imperative we investigate every aspect of this.”

March 24: New Black Panthers offer $10,000 bounty for “capture” of Zimmerman, threaten his family.

April 2: Holder meets Congressional Black Caucus, Sharpton and other black ministers in White House, pledges “swift action” in the Zimmerman case.

April 11: Holder speaks alongside Sharpton at his National Action Network convention in New York, where he threatens to charge authorities in Florida with “civil rights crime.” Zimmerman is taken into custody.

The shooting happened in late February. The media didn’t really care about this and the police chief saw no reason to press charges. If you read between the lines of the timeline, you can see the pressure brought to bear to turn this case into a media circus.

The article also cites some interesting omissions in the April 11 arrest affidavit. Although the affidavit included the fact that that Martin’s mother identified the voice on the 911 tape screaming for help as her son, it left out the fact that Martin’s father said that the voice was not his son. It also left out the fact that several people identified the voice screaming for help as George Zimmerman. Medical information about injuries to George Zimmerman was left out as well as evidence of grass stains on his back.

The article further reports:

But it conveniently failed to mention a toxicology report finding traces of marijuana in Martin’s blood and urine — which would have corroborated Zimmerman’s remark to a 911 dispatcher that Martin acted like he was “on drugs.” Police had trained Zimmerman to spot non-residents acting suspiciously in his townhouse complex, which had been the target of a rash of break-ins.

The lead detective in the case, Chris Serino, said he felt pressure to charge Zimmerman with murder, even though he said there was no evidence to support it.

I have no idea why the Obama Administration would choose to make such a big deal out of this case. All they have succeeded in doing is dividing Americans against each other along racial lines. Nothing constructive will come from the publicity given this case or of the threats made by racial activists of riots if they are not satisfied with the verdict.

Hopefully, those seeking to use this case for their own political purposes will not be successful.

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The Victim Who Wasn’t Really So Much Of A Victim

When is a victim not a victim? Well, maybe when his ‘victimization’ is the result of his own attitudes and actions. American Thinker posted a story today about the side of Trayvon Martin the media has somehow neglected to show us.

While painting George Zimmerman as a racist who murdered a saintly black man, the media left out a whole bunch of information as to who Trayvon Martin was. The American Thinker posted evidence released by George Zimmerman’s attorneys showing that Mr. Martin obviously had a rather large chip on his shoulder and a tendency toward drugs and violence. The article details some of Trayvon Martin’s training and use of mixed martial arts in his rather violent existence. I strongly suggest following the link above and reading the entire article.

The article reminds us:

Before leaving for Orlando on February 21, 2012, Martin had already missed 53 days of school that year and been suspended three times, most recently for possessing drug paraphernalia, the time before that for getting caught with women’s jewelry and a burglary tool.  Why might this be relevant?

 When George Zimmerman first spotted Martin near the shortcut into a community plagued by burglaries and home invasions, he told the dispatcher, “This guy looks like he’s up to no good.  Or he’s on drugs or something.”  Zimmerman might have been right on both counts.

 Had the school district police not been ordered to suppress crime statistics, especially for black males, Martin would likely have been arrested at least twice, and that might have snapped his parents out of their fog.  Instead, as the new evidence reveals, he was allowed to live out his increasingly angry, aberrant life as though he were merely a bit mischievous.

Supposedly in the American justice system, a man is innocent until proven guilty. For some reason, the media has decided to try George Zimmerman in the press and declare him guilty. In order to do this, the press has had to overlook some pretty strong indications that Trayvon Martin was not the choir boy they are painting him as. Hopefully, the trial of George Zimmerman will be more objective than the press coverage surrounding the case.

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How Americans Are Misled By The Dominant Media

The American Thinker posted an article today detailing how the dominant media manipulated the American public in its reporting of the killing of Trayvon Martin. The article gives a very specific and detailed account of the techniques used–I strongly suggest that you follow the link and read the entire article, although I will try to sum it up here.

The article cites the basic narrative:

The Trayvon narrative can be summarized as follows: a black child was walking innocently through a gated community after buying some candy at a store, when a white racist stalked and murdered him for no reason but his color.  The police, who are also racists, let the white man go free.

This narrative is similar to those used in previous racial disinformation campaigns:

  • 1987 – White racists have raped a young black girl and left her in a trash bag.
  • 1996 – White racists are burning down black churches across the South.
  • 2005 – White racists at Duke University have raped a black woman.

Like the Trayvon narrative, the earlier narratives were untrue.  However, they remain widely believed as a result of the massive media coverage used to bring them to national attention.

The article also points out that in the news coverage of the events in Florida Trayvon Martin was referred to as Trayvon and George Zimmerman was referred to simply as Zimmerman. The article also points out that when the media reported that Trayvon Martin was killed in a gated community, readers (and listeners) were left with the impression that it was an upper class white neighborhood, when in truth it was a mixed-race middle class community. The words you use to describe something as basic as a neighborhood can add a whole other dimension to a story. That is what was done here.

Creating unnecessary racial tension is not smart. People who are neighbors are quite capable of living in peace if allowed to do so. The kind of reporting we have seen in the death of Trayvon Martin is not helpful to anyone.

 

 

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Some Surprisingly Good Logic From The Left

Mediaite posted an article yesterday on the George Zimmerman arrest. The article was an interview that occurred on MSNBC’s hardball when guest host Michel Smerconish was interviewing Professor Alan Dershowitz on the arrest of George Zimmerman. I will admit I was rather surprised at the Professor’s comments.

The article reports Professor Dershowitz’s comments:

“Most affidavits of probable cause are very thin. This is so thin that it won’t make it past a judge on a second degree murder charge,” Dershowitz said. “There’s simply nothing in there that would justify second degree murder.”

Dershowitz said that the elements that would constitute that crime are non-existent in the affidavit. “It’s not only thin, it’s irresponsible,” said Dershowitz.

Dershowitz went on to strongly criticize Corey’s decision to move forward with the case against Zimmerman. “I think what you have here is an elected public official who made a campaign speech last night for reelection when she gave her presentation and overcharged. This case will not – if the evidence is no stronger than what appears in the probable cause affidavit – this case will result in an acquittal.”

I guess I have more than one question about this entire episode. If George Zimmerman followed Trayvon Martin after he was told not to, that was a mistake. I understand that. However, I have a few questions, “If George Zimmerman had not shot Trayvon Martin, would George Zimmerman still be alive? Would he have been beaten to death? Did he have reason to fear that that was a possibility? Does that not then make Florida’s law that says he had a right to defend himself apply?”

This is the modern equivalent of a gun battle at high noon. Regardless of who was right, someone was going to be killed that night.

 


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Why Is The Attorney General At A Rally That Encourages Civil (Or Uncivil) Disobedience ?

Today’s Washington Examiner reports that Eric Holder spoke at a rally held by Al Sharpton for Trayvon Martin.

The article reports:

“If we find evidence of a potential federal criminal civil rights crime, we will take appropriate action,” Holder added. “And, at every step, the facts and the law will guide us forward,” he added.

Al Sharpton, Holder’s host, has called for an “escalation” in civil disobedience if George Zimmerman — the shooter in the Trayvon Martin case who said he acted in self-defense — is not arrested.

Why is the Attorney General taking part in a rally that has determined the verdict of a case that has not even been tried and encouraging civil disobedience? Isn’t it the Attorney General’s job to uphold the law? The law says that George Zimmerman is innocent until proven guilty. If the people closest to the crime have chosen not to arrest Mr. Zimmerman, why is the Attorney General attending a rally to encourage civil disobedience to change that?

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Unfortunate, But Necessary

Newsbusters is reporting tonight that the producer who created the altered recording of George Zimmerman’s 911 call has been fired. The network is refusing to name the producer, but has fired him.

The article reports:

The editing of the segment was initially noticed by NewsBusters, an arm of the Media Research Center, a conservative media monitoring group. On March 31, NBC told The Washington Post that it would investigate. [...]

The people with direct knowledge of the firing characterized the misleading edit as a mistake, not a purposeful act.

I have no way of knowing whether the editing was done on purpose or whether it was accidental. I do know that it painted Mr. Zimmerman as a racist when there was no actual evidence to support that charge. Because of the way the tape was edited, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and other professional racial complainers got involved in something that was totally the result of editing a tape in a way that was thoroughly misleading. Thank God for the fact that NewsBusters caught on to what was done and spoke up.

This story is another example of why we need the Internet. All media needs to be held accountable (even the Internet). Generally it is the Internet that holds the mainstream media accountable, but I am sure there are examples of the reverse.

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Some Of The Truth Comes Out

Yesterday Mother Jones posted a story that should give all of us pause in trying to find the truth in the case of the murder of Trayvon Martin. It seems that some of the information we have been given by the major media has been seriously edited.

The article at Mother Jones posted an example of really bad reporting by NBC:

According to the Today show, here’s what George Zimmerman said to a 911 dispatcher as he was trailing Trayvon Martin last February:

Zimmerman: This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black.

Mother Jones posted the full transcript:

Zimmerman: This guy looks like he’s up to no good. Or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.

Dispatcher: OK, and this guy — is he black, white or Hispanic?

Zimmerman: He looks black.

I think this changes the story signficantly.

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An Apology Is Definitely Required

Today’s Daily Caller asks the question:

Has Obama called David and Elaine McClain to make sure they’re holding up ok? They’re the elderly Florida couple whose address Spike Lee tweeted because he thought it was George Zimmerman’s. Presumably because he wanted people to go there and discuss things calmly.

That is the danger of stirring up unrest without bothering to find out what the facts are.

Fox News reported:

An elderly Florida couple have been forced to move into a hotel after their home address was wrongly tweeted as belonging to the man who shot teen Trayvon Martin.

The tweets were traced back to a man in California and the address was also reportedly retweeted by director Spike Lee to his almost 250,000 followers.

The couple, aged 70 and 72, have been harassed with hate mail, been hassled by media and had scared neighbors questioning them since the tweet, their son Chip Humble told the Orlando Sentinel.

Fearful for their safety, and hoping to escape the spotlight, the couple have temporarily moved to a hotel.

We need to take a really good look at this event and, as the President said, do some serious soul-searching.

 
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Has Anyone Bothered To Check The Facts ?

The killing of Trayvon Martin has brought all sorts of people with all sorts of political and ideological persuasions out of the woodwork. There are rumors and pictures flying–some accurate and some not so accurate. According to the Los Angeles Times, the New Black Panther Party has offered $10,000 for the citizen’s arrest of George Zimmerman. There have also been death threats against Mr. Zimmerman and charges that he was not arrested due to political connections. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson have gotten involved. Have any of the people screaming bothered to check the facts? This is the kind of rhetoric that results in lynchings–it needs to stop.

A local Florida reporter has taken the time to clear up some of the misstatements and misinformation that is out there. Rene Stutzman at the Orlando Sentinal has done some investigating and dispels some of the rumors that have been circulating.

1. There is a rumor that the county Medical Examiner refused to release Trayvon Martin’s body to his family for three days. That is simply not true–the coroner released the body to the funeral home after 39 hours–the funeral home did not pick up the body for another 24 hours.

2. Rumor has it that the Sanford police did not collect George Zimmerman’s clothing as evidence. That is also not true–clothing from both men was collected to be examined as evidence.

3. One story says that George Zimmerman was not arrested because he has a relative on the police force. First of all, he has no relative on the force. Second of all, Florida Statute 776.032 expressly prohibits police from arresting someone who had a reasonable fear of imminent death or great bodily harm. Legally, the police could not have arrested him.

It is a tragedy that Trayvon Martin is dead, but we need to be careful not to make him an angel in death when there are some real questions as to what kind of a person he was in life.

ABC News reported yesterday:

Family attorney Benjamin Crump told ABC News that Martin had been slapped with a 10 day school suspension after a bag with suspected marijuana was found in his backpack.

Last year Martin was suspended for spraying graffiti on school grounds. The Miami Herald reported that the school guard who stopped him searched his backpack and found 12 items of women’s jewelry and a flathead screw driver that the guard believed to be a “burglary implement.” But Martin was never charged or specifically disciplined for the incident.

It is a shame that Trayvon Martin is dead, but that death has nothing to do with racism–it seems to have more to do with being in the wrong place at the wrong time and some very bad decisions made very quickly by both parties involved. I am not sure George Zimmerman should be charged with anything. Evidence suggests that he was pretty badly roughed up when police interviewed him. Hopefully, the hysteria will die down soon enough for the truth to come out.

 

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This Is Not Good For America In Any Way

America is not a racist country. America is a country that (like all other countries) has citizens who are racists, but America is not a racist country. To assume, because a young black man was killed in Florida, that it was an act of racism is not a reasonable assumption–particularly before we know the facts and before the man who did the shooting has a fair trial. However, that doesn’t stop some people from doing really stupid incendiary things.

Breitbart.com reported yesterday that the New Black Panthers have offered a $10,000 reward for George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who shot Trayvon Martin. At least the poster says they want him alive–not dead or harmed.

The article reports:

Several dozen supporters of the group known by its acronym NBPP — unrelated to the revolutionary Black Panther Party active in the 1960s-1980s — meanwhile protested for the third time this week at the police headquarters in Sanford, Florida.

“An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,” leader Mikhail Muhammad told the Orlando Sentinel. “We don’t hate anyone, we hate injustice.”

Activists had called for the mobilization of 5,000 black men to capture Zimmerman. And Muhammad said the NBPP was receiving donations from black entertainers and athletes, with a goal to collect $1 million by next week.

Why is the assumption here that the killing was racially motivated? What positive contribution do the New Black Panther Party make to the dialogue? I really do think everyone should stop what they are doing and go home and let the law enforcement people who actually know what they are doing handle this. I am beginning to wonder if George Zimmerman is being railroaded by people who have no knowledge or interest in what the actual facts of the case are.

 

 

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The Bottom Line Here Is That We Don’t Know What Happened

There are a lot of statements being made about the killing of a young man in Florida. The uproar is not over the killing of a young man, but the fact that the young man was black. The fact that the person who killed him is of mixed racial background (not white) is somehow being overlooked in the screaming.

Yesterday Fox News in Tampa Bay reported that there is a witness to the part of the events that seems to be so jumbled up. According to the testimony of this witness, what George Zimmerman has been saying (self-defense) is true. Meanwhile, the black community is being stirred up without anyone truly knowing what has happened. Why is this?

A young man has been shot. The details are sketchy. Let’s not be so quick to yell racism and hold the trial in the press. That is divisive and does not do anyone any good. What we need to do is pray for the family of the youth that was killed, and those who are in the area need to do anything they can to lessen the grief of the young man’s family. Stirring up trouble does not help anyone. Let’s come together and find out the truth.

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