Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Why Isn't George Zimmerman In Custody?

The Justice Department and the FBI are investigating the shooting of Trayvon Martin (right), 17, by George Zimmerman (left), 28, who claims self-defense. Despite that development, one must ask: How could Sanford, Florida, police release Zimmerman after questioning? If Martin were the shooter, would he have been let go? Does Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law and right to carry loaded weapons in public lead to such a tragedy? Think Progress has compiled a list of facts about the case that cause one to question why Zimmerman is not in custody regardless of his claim, including:

 Zimmerman pursued Martin against the explicit instructions of the police dispatcher: Dispatcher: “Are you following him?” Zimmerman: “Yeah.” Dispatcher: “OK, we don’t need you to do that.” [Orlando Sentinel]

Zimmerman was carrying a a 9 millimeter handgun. Martin was carrying a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea. [ABC News]

Martin weighed 140 pounds. Zimmerman weighs 250 pounds. [Orlando Sentinel; WDBO]

Three witnesses say they heard a boy cry for help before a shot was fired. “Three witnesses contacted by The Miami Herald say they saw or heard the moments before and after the Miami Gardens teenager’s killing. All three said they heard the last howl for help from a despondent boy.” [Miami Herald]


Jon Rector, editor of the Oracle said...

If Florida law enforcement bothered to read Statute XLVI, 776.013, (3)"A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony."

Zimmerman deserves prison time for his crime - he did not stand his ground, he gave chase and meeting force with force does not mean using a pistol to defend against a can of tea and Skittles.

Compounding the tragedy of Martin's death is the lack of interest displayed by the so-called leaders of the once great state of Florida.

Florida needs to hang its collective head in shame.

Jeff Tone said...

Jon: I completely agree with you regarding this horrendous crime and the outrageous response from Florida officialdom.

Readers: For more of Jon's analysis, please see the following article on his excellent blog, "The SOG CIty Oracle":