Unless you’ve been under a rock you could not miss the gripping trial event of the year. The murder trial of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. It has been everywhere with fancy graphics, 24 hour coverage, talking heads and program interrupting news flashes over the last two weeks. It has been sensationalized and pushed to the nth degree all in the Media’s increasingly desperate grasp for ratings… And for this the story of what really happened buried because why let facts get in the way of a good story? Remember when we first heard about the shooting of Trayvon Martin? Headlines all over the place of a white guy shooting an unarmed, unsuspecting black kid for no other reason than walking through his neighborhood, and he had a bag of skittles (something the media focused on). That was the story that we heard, the various media channels picked up on it and upped the coverage, and then patted themselves on the back as they saw advertising dollars roll in. They simple stopped being journalists forgot the other aspects of the story that would have stopped it being a pitch perfect race-bait event.
Then it all kind of went away for a few months.
Then boom… It was trial time, the media went fever pitch with their race-bait pre-trial coverage and then the wall-to-wall coverage began. It was only then we started to hear the full story, we saw the prosecution become inept in their presentation of the facts as it became increasingly clear that Trayvon himself had an active role in this confrontation as well. The facade was cracking fast and the trial really just became a testimonial to what I call a tragedy.
The moment the Forensic Expert was on the stand and put Trayvon on top of Zimmerman it stopped being a murder trial, it became something else, it became an easy push for the defense to call on self-defense. The prosecution scrambled because the political grandstanding charge was now unattainable and they just fell apart.
The verdict after that point was moot; the case had swung in the favor of the defense I knew Zimmerman was going to walk.
I’ve watched, read and sometimes commentated on people’s reactions all over the internet and my stance has been the same throughout. This was a case blown out of all proportion by a Media looking for next big thing to sensationalize for ratings. Because of the additional attention this case got the Prosecution puffed out its chest and went for Murder I and the easier to get Manslaughter charge which the facts presented. You saw how the justice system works, how important proving how important a protection beyond a reasonable doubt is and while the trial may not of got the verdict you wanted the only one to blame here was the Prosecution failure to present their case.
The attention this case got did Trayvon a disservice as we learned that this kid wasn’t as innocent as he was painted, he certainly, just like Zimmerman was an angry person. And there lies the issue…
About six years ago I was walking through the Avenue at Whitemarsh up here in Baltimore, the place is a series of stores set against an American street background. I was with my kids, and as ever my son was dawdling so I called out, “Come on Big Fella” which is a term of affection I have for my son. Now just at that moment a huge guy walking in the opposite direction, and remember I am a stocky chap, stopped in front of me and got right into my face. He thought I was challenging him to a fight I tried to explain to him that I was talking to my kid, he got further into my face. In the end I had to shout and cause a scene for him to back off.
You see that was an angry person looking for an excuse for a confrontation, had that been somewhere else less public or maybe even later in the evening it could have so easily turned into something else.
The Trayvon/Zimmerman situation was the same thing, accept this time it was two angry people with egos confronting each other… And after that a series of increasingly stupid mistakes on both there parts ending in tragedy.
There are no words that make this situation any better, nothing I can say that will appease anyone, to many shades of gray in a case that didn’t actually deserve the coverage it got and in-turn suffered because of the coverage it got.