March 25, 2012

Sanford Prediction Came True

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've undoubtedly heard about Trayvon Martin, a teen gunned down in the streets of Sanford, Florida, by George Zimmerman, the son of a retired judge.  Everyone has been criticizing the Sanford Police Department about their failure to arrest the gunman.  After all, there are no questions about whether or not Zimmerman shot Martin; he absolutely did it.

But Zimmerman claims that it was self-defense; he maintains that the slender high school student, armed only with a Big Gulp and Skittles, decided to attack the stocky neighborhood watch captain.

This isn't the first time that the Sanford Police Department has failed to arrest an aggressor who clearly committed the crime; in 2010, they failed to arrest Justin Collison for beating up Sherman Ware, despite numerous eyewitnesses and video tape of the entire incident.  Ware was a homeless man, and Collison the son of a Sanford police lieutenant.

The arresting officer, Samuel McNeil, claimed that he couldn't arrest Collison because Ware, who had been beaten unconscious, wasn't able to make a sworn statement at the time.

My comments on that have become sadly prescient:
People must get away with murder in Sanford; after all, dead men tell no tales, and the cops ignore physical evidence and eyewitness testimony.  They might was well not have a police department.
Here we are barely 18 months later, and here's George Zimmerman getting away with murder.  Who'd a thunk?

Zimmerman was recorded calling 911 prior to the incident; he was talking to the dispatcher while he followed Trayvon Martin.  Martin was walking back to his father's girlfriend's house, having picked up a late snack at a nearby convenience store.  The dispatcher advised Zimmerman to stop following the boy.

Meanwhile, Martin was talking to his girlfriend back in Miami.  She said he was being followed by someone, and felt threatened. 

Zimmerman's attorney claims that it was Zimmerman that felt threatened, and that the murder of Martin is justified by Florida's "Stand your Ground" law, which allows the use of deadly force in self defense.  The City claims that the testimony they had at the time of the shooting supported Zimmerman's claim of self-defense, so they had no grounds to arrest him.

Of course, the only actual witness had been silenced.  All they had was the word of the perpetrator, which they accepted at face value

Sound familiar?

The reason this case stinks to high hell is that it relies on the judgement of the Sanford Police Department; but the SPD has demonstrated that its judgment can't be trusted.  After all, they used the same puny excuse eighteen months ago, and it turned out that there was ample evidence to support an arrest and conviction.  Then it became abundantly clear that police let a criminal walk free because he was the son of a white man with connections, and the victim was just some black guy.

How many more people will have to die before Sanford cleans up its corrupt police department?

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