George Zimmerman was released today, Friday, on a $150,000 bond. He is required to wear an ankle bracelet tracking his location.
The hearing revealed new evidence on accusations against Zimmerman of prior violence. While interviewing Zimmerman’s current wife, the state prosecutor read from an affidavit by his former girlfriend. She alleged in the sworn statement that he “pushed her,” then slapped her with an open hand to the mouth and “asked her how it felt.” She said he “picked me up and threw me on the bed” and then “grabbed me again.” Zimmerman’s wife responded that her husband was simply trying to “protect himself from being attacked by her.”
Zimmerman today apologized to the Martin family, though also said “I did not know if [Trayvon] was armed or not.”
The Trayvon Martin case has divided America, largely along racial lines. A USA Today Gallup poll found that most blacks believe that Zimmerman is guilty of a crime and that racial bias was a major factor in the shooting, and the events that led up to it, and that he would have been arrested if he had shot a white person. The numbers are the opposite for whites, only about a third believed that racial bias was a factor or that Zimmerman would have been arrested if the person he shot was white.
America’s Real ‘Race Baiters’
“Mob justice rules the day.” That was the reaction on just one leading right-wing website to the news of the arrest of George Zimmerman.
It was a common theme. Speculation that the charges are “unethical”, claims that — somehow — a Republican prosecutor appointed by a Republican Governor was being forced into charges by anyone from Al Sharpton up to and including the President himself, or claims that prosecutor Angela Corey just wants the limelight.
That Zimmerman is innocent until proven otherwise goes without saying, but Corey obviously believes she has a case and there is more than enough evidence in the public arena to support that she might well have enough beyond reasonable doubt. But that is might.
I recommend this going over of all the evidence by blogger Booman. It comes back to a point made by others — what happened in the 60 seconds prior to the shot being fired. Clearly Corey believes she can prove what happened and, no, she is not (this is another right-wing meme) required to prove that in the initial affidavit.
What Zimmerman’s surrogates have been saying has changed over time. We need to hear from Zimmerman himself, and hear whatever other evidence his defense team has, that Zimmerman had some reason to fear for his life.
In their media campaigning, his former lawyers repeatedly accused the family and their supporters of ‘racializing’ the case. That tone from those directly involved with Zimmerman appears to thankfully be over, with Zimmerman’s new lawyer dampening down speculation about the case as well as extending his hand to Martin’s parents. However, we are still hearing threats from the right of a “race war” — and politicization by linking it to the general election.
The heat brought light
“Mob justice” looks like, to put it mildly, a nasty insult when viewed next to the reactions of Trayvon Martin’s parents. They took their calm message of ‘all we want is an arrest’ everywhere — even into Bill O’Reilly’s ‘No spin zone.’
Both the parents and those who have been working for them, including civil rights leaders like Al Sharpton, have consistently called for justice — not Zimmerman’s head. Since the arrest, Martin’s parents have made clear they will accept whatever the judicial outcome is.
Watch Al Sharpton ‘This was about one thing, justice’:
That campaigning for justice is why Angela Corey is prosecuting Zimmerman and why the case will end up in a court room. The police chief made it crystal clear that just because Zimmerman said ‘self defense,’ he believed he had to let him walk and the first prosecutor dismissed the police request for a prosecution. It was the campaign of Martin’s parents which led to the release of the 911 tapes, which exploded media interest, and then led Florida Governor Rick Scott to replace the first prosecutor and draft in Corey — who has an extremely tough reputation as a victims advocate and has one of the nation’s highest rates for getting the death penalty.
The opposition to the Martin family’s dignified campaign has been the real ‘race baiting.’ It was once the President said “If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon” that Fox and right-wing blogs stepped up the divisiveness and the taking of sides. It has resulted in a highly polarized reaction to the charges against Zimmerman between black and white Americans, and those who are encouraging it on the right know full well why they are doing it.
Page 2: Care2 members’ thoughts, cover-up of Trayvon’s pictures and Stand Your Ground laws >>
Picture: CNN screengrab
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