I have been doing some more thinking about the George Zimmerman trial. Of course I have been processing another day of testimony. Yesterday I heard a parade of people testify on George Zimmerman’s behalf. It is obvious that Zimmerman has friends who support and like him and this is certainly a point in his favor. They also all swore under oath that they could tell that George’s voice was the one they heard screaming for help on the 911 tape we have heard so many times by now.
The same thing is true of the Sanford police. They are loath to say anything negative about Zimmerman. They like him. There is almost a “closing ranks” kind of feel about the way he is handled by the police; as if he was one of their own. To me it is even sadder that people like him so much because it means that a “nice” person has done something very wrong. He did not exercise good judgment on this occasion and as a result a 17 year old is dead. George Zimmerman is no teenager. He was 29 when he stalked and shot Trayvon.
It does not matter that Trayvon was copying the “thug” role so many young minority men seem to have to adopt these days. It doesn’t matter that he had a little THC in his system. It doesn’t matter why it took him “too long” to get from the convenient store to his father’s girlfriend’s townhouse where he was staying. He obviously didn’t make a quick stop to rob an apartment. He had no contraband with him; he had only the Skittles and iced tea he bought at the store. It is clear that George Zimmerman followed him. It is clear that George Zimmerman left his car with a loaded gun. And it is clear that George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin, a child. It is also clear, that regardless of how sympathetic the police are to George Zimmerman’s plight; he is not an actual policeman. He killed a child because he was certain that he knew this child was up to no good. Making Trayvon guilty is wrong. The more I hear about this, the more certain I am that George Zimmerman blew it, that the police are trying to “close ranks” and that this should not be allowed.
I really don’t care who was screaming for help. If it was George Zimmerman, it just proves he was in over his head. He was playing policeman, following a suspect, with a concealed gun, but a gun he thought he might have to use. It was not right to act like a policeman without completing any of the training or receiving any official mandate to do so. George Zimmerman is not a policeman. Now he is, sadly, a murderer. The way our justice system works, Zimmerman can claim that he killed in self-defense and if the jury feels he proves this he can be acquitted. Even if he is acquitted he still murdered an unarmed teenager who was doing nothing wrong. He does not seem remorseful and maybe he can’t because it would make him look guilty. But once the trial is over, regardless of the outcome, I hope major remorse sets in. George Zimmerman, you messed up, and no amount of “closing ranks” will change that.