I think something that is getting lost in all of this needs to be explained to gbaji.
When the protesters are screaming "JUSTICE FOR TRAYVON" they're not calling for Zimmeron to be hanged at dawn.
They're calling for him to be arrested, despite there being no evidence that he broke the law. You can't just force the police to arrest people because you've got an angry mob who demand it. That's not how any sane legal system should work. And you damn well should know this. You're asking for the police to do exactly what civil rights movements have been fighting against for decades.
They're calling for him to be properly tried in a court of law.
Sure. But a trial is a whole bunch of steps down the legal process though. They're demanding that we skip all the steps in between. Those are important steps because they are what protect us all from abusive police powers. The police *can't* just arrest and charge people without sufficient cause. That's the whole point. And no matter how strongly you feel about this particular case, it's still wrong to bypass those rules.
All everyone has to go on is conflicting bits of Zimmerman's account, witness accounts, fuzzy 911 calls (don't forget - Trayvon also called 911 during this whole mess because he too was apparently freaked out), terrible police investigatory work (no autopsy? really?), and the entire media circus that has developed around the case.
Um... Get your facts straight first. Trayvon Martin never called 911. Where'd you hear that? And where'd you hear that no autopsy was done? Of course there was. It just hasn't been released to the public because they don't normally release such things to the public while the investigation is ongoing. You're repeating wild speculation.
And no. The witness accounts were surprisingly consistent. Every single witness who actually saw the confrontation reported seeing someone matching Martin's description on top of another person beating him. Those who saw the person on the ground being beaten by Martin all identified him by description as Zimmerman. All agreed that it was the person on the ground (Not Martin) who was yelling for help.
If Zimmerman is tried before a jury, or at the very least, before a judge, and he is still found innocent of wrongdoing, then we have on our hands a tragedy born of misunderstanding, but Zimmerman's innocence will be vindicated and he can get on with his life.
No. It doesn't matter if he's tried before a jury or not. The mob has spoken and is already angry. If the prosecutor chooses not to press charges, there will be riots. If she does press charges and a judge tosses the case for lack of evidence, there will be riots. And if this does, through an absolute travesty of justice, end out in a full trial before a jury and Zimmerman is acquitted, there will be riots.
That's what will happen. Because this isn't about justice. It's not about the law. It's about angry irrational people whose opinions are about 10% fact and 90% wild rumor, but will never ever under any circumstances admit or acknowledge that they were wrong. So anything other than Zimmerman being found guilty will be interpreted by them as a miscarriage of justice. It'll be proof of racism. It'll be proof that a black man really can't get justice. Hell. Fill in the blanks here if you want.
Again, that's not justice. That's an angry mob.
But if Zimmerman is found guilty, we have evidence that the SYG law in Florida needs to be clarified and can't be used as an excuse to shoot the scary black kid with the skittles and the Arizona tea and the hoodie.
If he's found guilty, it'll be because there's either some magical evidence to this case that has managed to be kept hidden from the public entirely (yes, I'm allowing for this possibility, no matter how slim it appears) *or* because the justice system failed miserably to apply its own rules and laws.
Either way, Trayvon will have gotten justice. Is that too much to ask?
If in the name of "justice" you require the arrest and trial of a clearly innocent man? Yes. It's way to much to ask. If there's evidence that Zimmerman acted in anything other than self defense when he pulled that trigger, then I absolutely agree that he should be arrested and charged and tried before a jury. But so far, I have seen absolutely nothing that constitutes such evidence. Lots of people insisting that he should be charged. Lots of people insisting that he must have done it. But there's a suspicious lack of actual evidence supporting that course of action.
Let me repeat. In our legal system, there are a whole set of steps that have to be taken before you get to a trial. And the burden is always on the prosecution to show that they've met the requirements for that step before moving on. You can demand a trial by jury all day long, but the legal system isn't anywhere near that point, and frankly, unless there is some evidence to this case that we're all completely unaware of that the police have, I don't see how they can proceed any further than the investigation.
I'm not taking Zimmerman's "side" here. I'm taking the side of the law and the evidence. Equal justice for all, right? But it seems like some want unequal justice when they are angry about something. And that's just a piss poor reason to move forward with this.