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July 19, 2013

Let There Be Peace!

Joe Charlebois

The rally cry of “No Justice, No Peace!” has echoed throughout the country since George Zimmerman was acquitted of both second degree murder and the lesser charge of manslaughter by six jurors in Florida last week. The call for rallies and “true” justice are misdirected.


Initial reports show that on February 26, 2012 – the evening that neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin – Mr. Zimmerman was taken into custody by Sanford Florida’s Police Department and questioned. Police questioned his claim of self-defense. Based on preliminary evidence given and the fact that that same evidence matched the claim of self-defense, Mr. Zimmerman was released.


Nearly three weeks after Mr. Zimmerman was released from custody, and outside pressure from the Martin family and civil rights leaders, the Sanford Police reiterated that there is no evidence that would discount the assertion that Trayvon was killed for any other reason but self-defense. At the same time, under the national spotlight and extreme political pressure, lead investigator for the Sanford Police to recommend that he be charged with manslaughter.


Rallies are held throughout the country demanding that justice be served and that the killing of Trayvon Martin was racially motivated.


Within a week, Attorney General Eric Holder’s Justice Department makes the announcement that it will investigate what was heretofore a local matter.


The pressure that the federal government brings to bear is too much for the local officials. On March 22, Police Chief Bill Lee announces his temporary resignation and State’s Attorney Norm Wolfinger recused himself from any potential case. A day later, President Barack Obama weighed in on the case and is the latest to inject race into the issue.


ABC News after obtaining Sanford Police surveillance video of Mr. Zimmerman the night of the shooting, attempt to discredit the claim that Mr. Zimmerman acted in self-defense and that he was injured in his confrontation with Mr. Martin. Later it was discovered that by enhancing the video quality his nose appears swollen and there were abrasion marks on the back of his head.


That same week NBC News was caught editing the audio tape of Mr. Zimmerman’s phone call to Sanford Police dispatch in a way that portrayed him as a racist.


On April 11, Angela Corey, who was appointed the special prosecutor files second degree murder charges against George Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin.


The trial was held. And no further evidence than what was presented on that first night came forth. The prosecution was unable to make the case that George Zimmerman acted out of any other reason than self-defense.


The jury found Mr. Zimmerman not guilty.


Any pressure now from so-called civil rights leaders, the Attorney General of the United States or other political officials, who claim that the judicial process was not administered properly, creates an aura of wrongdoing on behalf of the judge, the attorneys and the jury, which was clearly not the case in this trial.


The actions of these same individuals and of Florida special prosecutor Angela Corey, who continued to call Mr. Zimmerman a “murderer” after the verdict, do nothing but create a disservice to maintaining faith in our court system.


This trial was conducted properly and under Florida law, Mr. Zimmerman was acquitted of any and all charges filed against him.


Whether one agrees with the verdict or not, justice was served. Let there be peace.


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