The George Zimmerman Affair

I claim no special insight or privilege to information that isn’t already publicly available.

ImageGeorge Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin are a tragic story of two lives coming together in a world with suspects and villains all around us.

I don’t believe from what I read and heard that either of them are saints or villains. I don’t view this through the prism of race even though there are some anxious to stir up those emotions.

Trayvon Martin wasn’t a thug or a hoodlum. He was a young man going to the store and picking up snacks from a local store. He did not rob the store. He was wearing a hooded shirt and there are no laws against wearing hoods, baseball caps or stockings on the head. It’s his choice and it’s irrelevant what he wears. While being observed, he didn’t break into any building, break any windows or vandalize property. He was walking. Even if he was running, skateboarding or skipping, he wasn’t breaking any laws. He hasn’t a criminal history of breaking into homes.

George Zimmerman was involved in a neighborhood watch. He admits being in the vicinity of Trayvon Martin. He followed at a distance and called the police to tell the dispatcher he was following someone. He was carrying a gun for protection. It’s unclear to me whether he had a permit to carry, but assuming he did, he had the legal right. He continued for an undetermined period of time to follow Trayvon Martin which created an atmosphere of tension.

Since Trayvon Martin is dead, he’s unable to explain his actions except through third parties who don’t seem to be able to present a complete picture of the altercation between both men. It’s clear that a fight broke out between the two men. George Zimmerman said he felt it was necessary to defend himself and here’s where I have a problem with this case. A trained professional doesn’t go from a punch up to shooting someone dead. George Zimmerman was someone who behaved with authority but doesn’t seem to understand the consequences of injecting himself into these situations. A professional might use a taser or pepper spray or if he had only his firearm, wound the individual, not shoot him square in the chest. I’m quite sure he was frightened when he was physically overwhelmed. He was inadequately prepared. He did take a beating and there was an eye-witness he was on the bottom being pummeled.

Unfortunately neither of these men up until the fight were doing anything wrong. It isn’t illegal to walk to a store and back home. Rather than act as an observer he followed Trayvon Martin. It isn’t illegal to follow someone unless there is a clear violation of a stalking order. I believe but can’t prove, Trayvon Martin wanted to know why he was being followed. I doubt he went from asking that question to just pounding on George Zimmerman. I can’t prove what these two men said to each other.

I think George Zimmerman over reacted in this situation but unless it can be shown he acted with insufficient reason to defend himself, I doubt they can convict him. This is a tragedy of all involved. One life was taken while the other is ruined along with his immediate family. If George Zimmerman had hung back and waited for the police, I don’t think this would have happened. Again, because none of us were there, there really isn’t anything we can do to accurately determine manslaughter or murder. We can offer opinions but a verdict has to be based on the violation of law(s) not opinions.

Pepper spray Demonstration; U.S. Marine Corps.