**Update in the Trayvon Martin case**
For His Life! Witnesses Heard Trayvon Martin Screaming For Help Before He Was KilledApparently, there ARE other sides to this story. Click the link and read the article. Sound off with your responses below.
I think many of you know I am a prosecutor. My job is to advance public safety in the District of Columbia and show the public that justice will be swift and well, just. I have to be tough. The public does not want a prosecutor that is soft on crime, that second guesses police, that is uncommitted or that one defense attorneys can push over.
On February 26, seventeen year old Trayvon Martin, left his father's gated community in Sanford, Florida and went to the convenience store. When he returned, a neighborhood watch "captain," George Zimmerman, saw Trayvon and contacted 911 to report a suspicious man. I think it's interesting that the call was to report a man because Trayvon looks like a kid to me. But I digress. So, Zimmerman speaks to the 911 dispatcher and the operator tells him not to confront Trayvon. When police arrive, Trayvon was dead. Police discovered that concealed on Trayvon's person was a very dangerous bag of skittles. Our neighborhood watch guy? Well, he pumped a 9mm slug into Trayvon's chest.
Now I know what you are thinking. What the hell is the neighborhood watch man doing with a gun? We don't know that yet. What did Trayvon do that made him so suspicious? Don't know. What happened for Zimmerman to actually pull the trigger on an unarmed Trayvon? We don't know that either.
Here's what we do know:
Trayvon returned to the gated community. Zimmerman called 911. Zimmerman approached Trayvon. Shots can be heard on the 911 tape. Trayvon was shot by Zimmerman. Trayvon died. Zimmerman claimed self defense. The police will not release the 911 tapes until "the investigation" is over. Oh yeah, police have not charged Zimmerman with anything because there is nothing to dispute his self defense story. Really?
Ok, so I won't jump to conclusions here but something smells. And as a prosecutor, I am hard-wired to find the logic in police and victim statements. Since I am the government, I always approach my cases as if I am seeking justice. Interestingly enough, I cannot find the logic in Zimmerman's statements or in the refusal of police to turn over the 911 call. Now, the NAACP has sent a letter to the Justice Department asking them to assist in this matter. Normally, I'm like ok, cool. But of course, this will end up on Limbaugh's show as an "In Obama's America" moment. I'm sure that this issue will pop up on the election trial anyway. To me, this IS NOT A POLITICAL ISSUE! But sadly, Trayvon's name will be thrown around in the mud.
So what would be my advice to Trayvon's family? Do not believe the police here. Independently check and verify everything they say. Don't trust the State Attorney's Office. Gather your own evidence and have it professionally analyzed. And regarding Zimmerman's story? If it smells like a rat, then it probably is. Find camera locations in that gated community, analyze the coroner's report, verify ballistic reports, check into his background. Go above and beyond to verify everything he says. I work for the government. I am proud of my job. But I can honestly say, that based on what has happened so far, it appears that justice has escaped Trayvon, his family, and the community at large. I hope I'm wrong.
1. Based on the facts here, do you think something is suspicious?
2. Do you think race had anything to do with this shooting?
3. How should the DOJ handle this issue?
4. How should President Obama approach this topic, if he does at all?