In the matter of the killing of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman, we have a new development.
It appears that the detective originaly assigned to the case wanted to arrest him for manslaughter:
The lead homicide investigator in the shooting of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin recommended that neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman be charged with manslaughter the night of the shooting, multiple sources told ABC News.
But Sanford, Fla., Investigator Chris Serino was instructed to not press charges against Zimmerman because the state attorney’s office headed by Norman Wolfinger determined there wasn’t enough evidence to lead to a conviction, the sources told ABC News.
Police brought Zimmerman into the station for questioning for a few hours on the night of the shooting, said Zimmerman’s attorney, despite his request for medical attention first. Ultimately they had to accept Zimmerman’s claim of self defense. He was never charged with a crime.
Serino filed an affidavit on Feb. 26, the night that Martin was shot and killed by Zimmerman, that stated he was unconvinced Zimmerman’s version of events.
The fact that Zimmerman’s dad is a retired judge makes this decision even more suspect.
Then there is the fact that Martin’s body remained listed as a John Doe in the coroner’s office for 3 days, while repeated calls to his cell phone went unanswered. (Maybe that would have allowed them to identify the body)
Whatever else happened, given the Sandford, Florida PD’s long and notorious record of corruption and racism, it’s tough to conclude that their handling of the case was racially tinged.
BTW, Lawrence O’Donnell was going to interview Zimmerman’s lawyer, but when he realized that it wasn’t going to be softball questions he fled the studio.
O’Donnell then asked the questions of the empty chair, and they were very basic questions:
- Who is paying you? Who hired You? When, exactly, did they hire you?
- Does George Zimmerman have a job? Does he have any property? Does he own anything?
- Did you represent him when he was arrested for assault on a police officer in 2005? Did you represent him in a domestic violence case in 2007 when his girlfriend accused him of assault?
- You said Zimmerman got a broken nose, can you show us photos of him that night with the broken nose, or even the next day?
- You said Zimmerman’s clothes had grass stains and other evidentiary material … do you have that garment, can you show us what happened to it?”
These are not unexpectedly hard hitting question. Certainly they are a bit hostile, but if you are doing the media rounds as his lawyer (to my mind always a bad decision) you have to be able to answer these questions.
One of the interesting things here is just how hard the right is trying to smear this teenager.
It’s an article of faith among them that there is no longer any racism in the United States, and the obvious racism here kind of gets in the way of that.