Sunday, April 15, 2012

Myths Have Nine Lives in the Trayvon Martin Shooting

Whether George Zimmerman is convicted or acquitted in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, there is one fact that should be beyond dispute. Al Sharpton and his race hounds at MSNBC and CNN deserve condemnation.

Let's catalog the myths that they have propagated about this case:

(1) That GZ chased TM through other peoples' backyards and shot him down in cold blood. This happened on a public sidewalk within the gated subdivision and there are multiple witnesses to as well as 911 recordings of a struggle. AS had this information via the TM familiy lawyers from the beginning.

(2) That GZ wasn't arrested on the night of the killing. We have know seen the video tapes very clearly showing he was taken to the Sanford Police station in handcuffs. He was interrogated for several hours. He was not given a pass at the scene.

(3) That the Sanford Police closed the investigation the night of the killing. They could have done more, like hold GZ until they had identified the body, but the lead investigator who wanted to press charges has gotten a very unfair rap.

(4) That the original prosecutor closed the case. He wanted more evidence but he did call the April 10 grand jury that ultimately wasn't used. The case was still open when the special prosecutor was appointed.

(5) That GZ clearly uttered a racial slur. The Orwellian joke of the media audio enhancement experts is a crime. GZ should sue for slander. AS's National Action Network has committed or incited exponentially more hate crimes.

(6) That the Florida Stand Your Ground law has a flawed definition of self-defense. It may have procedural problems, such as killers being able to sue the police if they are arrested but later found to have acted in self-defense, but the basic definition is sound and fully consonant with American legal tradition.

(7) That neighborhood watch people are forbidden to carry firearms. It may be a bad idea that police want to discourage, but there is no law against it at least in Florida. It is, by the way, unclear whether GZ was acting as a volunteer neighborhood watch captain or as a volunteer security guard or as just a private citizen with a property interest.

(8) That TM was just walking home from the 7-11. In fact, he may have been a little lost or disoriented in a neighborhood where all the buildings look alike and he was just visiting for a few days. That may well have appeared suspicious even though entirely innocent. That may also explain why he didn't just go home.

(9) That TM wasn't armed. You couldn't do much with the famous bag of skittles but the less famous can of ice tea would pack quite a wallop, particularly if you swung it at your opponents head with a plastic bag or the hood of your sweatshirt. The best evidence that TM was not a thug is that he didn't knock GZ's lights out.

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