Friday, March 16, 2012

Seeking Individuals for Neighborhood Watch: Great Benefits, Flexible Hours, Can Murder at Will

**Update in the Trayvon Martin case**

For His Life! Witnesses Heard Trayvon Martin Screaming For Help Before He Was Killed

Apparently, 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 who defense attorneys can push over.

Ok, no problems there. I am tough.  I am passionate.  I take my job seriously.  I regularly whip Harvard and Yale defense attorneys.  I really believe in the work I do.  In general, I cringe when I hear a defense attorney's main theory that police planted evidence, that witnesses made up the crime, or that the government (prosecutors) is hiding evidence helpful to the defense.  These things don't happen in 2012 do they?  Do I really need to answer that?

So, I got home from work only to be called by my younger brother who is a Maryland Sheriff.  Normally, he doesn't call me after 5pm because he is heading to his part time security job.  So when I saw his number I knew he had something important to tell me.  I answered his call and he immediately went into it, "Guru, did you hear about the kid killed in Florida?"  I'm like, "nope."  He proceeded to tell me this:

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?

Hmmm, how about this.  If there is nothing to dispute his story, then why not release the 911 calls?  As a prosecutor, a 911 call is one of the first things I turn over to defense.  It's called discovery and must be turned over to defense before trial.  Oh yeah, how do you explain the fact that Zimmerman was instructed not to confront Trayvon yet he approached him anyway?  What authority does neighborhood watch have to use violent force?  What evidence, other than testimony, does Zimmerman have to PROVE self defense?  Now, this matter has been turned over the the Florida State Attorney's Office.  Do I need to mention that Zimmerman is white and Trayvon is black?

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?

blog comments powered by Disqus