Conflict & Tragedy
Something afoul in Sanford: why did State Prosecutor recuse himself in Trayvon case?
The Trayvon Martin killing is consuming many, including me. Yes, we know there are others murdered everyday. There are other shocking shootings like 18-year-old Ramarley Graham from the Bronx, New York, shot in his own bathroom at home by police a few weeks before Trayvon. Or the killing of 21-year-old Shawn Bell, shot more than 50 times by New York Police, who later walked free. Or the shooting of an unarmed 19-year-old college student Kendrec McDade by police just 8 day ago in Pasadena, Calif. Many are drawing parallels to Trayvon's death as another Black teen is gunned down. The community there is also reeling from his killing.
Every one of these lives are equally important and I look at Trayvon as a representative of all the innocent who have been killed, where justice was as elusive as trying to capture a shadow. There are daily marches, online petitions, Capitol Hill visits, television interviews, hoodie protests by legislators and communities nationwide. I think the accumualtion of injustice, bias and prejudice have reached a climax and people of all colors are demanding change.
Trayvon was shot and killed by George Zimmerman on Feb. 26 in the gated community of Sanford, Fla. The shooter is walking around a free man but we know the police had arrested him on the night of the killing; we saw him handcuffed in a released surveillance video.
So why wasn't he charged, not even with manslaughter? More importantly why did the State Prosecutor Norm Wolfinger recuse himself from this case? Maybe it's because he ordered police to release Zimmerman that fateful night and over-rode police who wanted to press charges--claiming there wasn't enough evidence to hold him? Or are there additonal improprieties or violations here that we do not know about yet?
Incidentally Zimmerman comes from a family who knows the law very well. His father Robert Zimmerman, who gave an interview of his version of what happened that night, is reportedly a retired judge and his mother allegdly also worked in the court system. Whatever the case, the 28-year-old self-appointed neighborhood watchman seems to have some powerful protection keeping him from handcuffs or criminal charges.
The prosecution allegedly said there wasn't sufficient evidence, and Sheriff Lee, who has temporarily stepped down, once said in a press conference that under Stand Your Ground, they could not hold Zimmerman for he claimed self-defense.
Since when do investigators simply accept the words of a killer? Aren't there evidenciary and investigative procedures to follow where every angle of the case is exhaustively scrutinized before a conclusion is made?
Trayvon was reportedly tested for drugs but the shooter Zimmerman wasn't. Richard Kurtz, the funeral director who prepared Trayvon's body for burial, said there were no signs that he was in a fight as Zimmerman claimed. Kurtz said his hands and knuckes had no abrasions, There were no bloody fingernails, no bruises that one would expect on a body that had been in a brutal fight to the death. So if he was in a fight, he didn't do much damage. On the contrary, it looks like he was over-powered, outmanned and out-gunned.
The police must have all this information--afterall, they reportedly kept Trayvon's body for three days before releasing him to his family. Zimmerman said he feared for his life so he killed the teen. Said he screamed for help. Forensic experts now say the screams heard in the background on the 911 tapes from witnesses who called in were not Zimmerman's. Police have the means of doing the same analysis. So what gives?
On the police video, Zimmerman didn't appear hurt except for a bump on his head. No blood could be seen on his clothes. Even if he had a cut on his head or a bloody nose, the argument could be made that the dead teen was "Standing his Ground" as well. Remember, Zimmerman was told by law enforcement not to follow Trayvon but he disobeyed that order and stalked him anyway.
How can one use self-defense if he is out at night, carrying a gun on a neighborhood watch, which he was prohibited from doing; not wearing any clothing that would distinguish him as acting in that capacity; never declared himself as such to Trayvon and following someone who had as much of a right as he had to be where he was?
Police have never bothered to speak to DeeDee, Trayvon's 16-year-old girlfriend, who was reportedly on the phone with him that night of Feb. 26. Family lawyer said she was talking to him around 7:12 P.M. She allegedly heard Zimmerman ask Trayvon, "what are you doing around here?" A few minutes later police were on the scene for the teen was dead. This timeline is extremely important.
Why haven't police interviewed this ear witness? What about Trayvon's phone records and DeeDee's? They can help paint a picture of what happened.Do they have the cellphone and did the test it for forensic evidence? What about the can of iced tea--did they test that for evidence? Trayvon didn't have a weapon and if a strange man was following that night, he might have used both to try and defend himself.
What about Zimmerman's clothes? Police let him go home to sleep in his bed that night as they carted off the teen in a bodybag to the morgue. If they let him go, chances are they did not test his clothes for forensic evidence. Did they test his body, his fingernails, hands. What about the gun--did they test it for trace evidence, fingerprints--for Trayvon's? The injuries he supposedly suffered at the hands of Trayvon could have also been self-inflicted. He had just killed someone and I'm sure he knew the implications and could have tried to cover up a willful shooting. If Trayvon was the one who inflicted the wounds, how do they prove he wasn't protecting himself against Zimmerman--trying to Stand his Ground?
Back to my original question, why did the prosecutor recuse himself?
Seems to me there is overwhelming evidence for an arrest and charges. Let a jury of his peers hear and see the evidence. The state prosecutor and police cannot play judge and jury--this is not how our judicial system works. Zimmerman did not kill a roach, he killed a human being, someone's son brother, nephew, friend. I think the Sanford police treated this young man's life like it didn't matter for they figured it would blow over. They didn't factor in that a local and national community would wake up and roar. They didn't anticipate the world would be watching. This is not just another day in Sanford. That community and beyond want justice--want a seismic shift in mentality across the U.S.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said we needed a revolution of values in America. I add we need to value each live equally--it is way pass time.
Check out police report of the tragic night here:Trayvon Martin Police Report