By Saturday, investigative reporting has turned up some more new unflattering information about George Zimmerman, the 28 year old neighborhood watchman who shot an unarmed 17 African-American boy which has captured the public headline news the last few days. According to his former co-workers, Zimmerman was fired from a security job providing security for house parties after he grabbed an intoxicated young woman and threw her. According to at least one of these co-workers, Zimmerman also had a “Jekyll and Hyde” personality, where he could be entirely decent one moment, but prone to violence the next.
Even more damning was the report that Zimmerman actually had three separate prior arrests, but these arrests were sealed by the courts. It also turns out that Zimmerman’s father, Frank Zimmerman, was a retired Orange County magistrate judge, which brings up the question whether he used his influence somehow to get these arrest records sealed. If these arrest records weren’t sealed, then it might have kept Zimmerman from acquiring a gun by passing a background check.
Further damning evidence against Zimmerman was a videotape acquired by CBS of Zimmerman at a police station in handcuffs after the shooting where he showed no evidence of being assaulted by Trayvon Martin. There didn’t appear to be any injury to the back of the head, cut lip or broken nose that Zimmerman and his defenders had claimed. Further, a mortician didn’t find any evidence that Trayvon Martin had been in a fight when he was preparing his body, only the fatal bullet wound to his chest. All of this strongly suggests that Zimmerman has lied about his account of the events.
Former co-workers of Zimmerman before he was fired from his security job claimed that Zimmerman liked power over people and enjoyed ordering people around. He like to play cop was the bottom line. But, his history of unacceptable violent incidents got him fired from that security job.
More and more the image of some screwball who liked guns and wanted to play a cop is emerging. But, it appears that Zimmerman lacked both the self control and possibly even the mental health to be in possession of a gun. Zimmerman was told not to follow Trayvon Martin by a 911 operator, and certainly not to leave his SUV and pursue someone he only thought was potentially suspicious. Apparently, Zimmerman had no reason to believe that Martin had committed any crime, but instead didn’t recognize him as a neighborhood youth.
Even former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, the brother of the former president, George W. Bush, has publicly claimed that when he signed Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, meant just that. To “stand your ground”, and not to “pursue” and shoot someone.
Smart money would suggest that Zimmerman probably gets charged by a prosecutor at some point after an investigation. Further, it was highly unusual for Zimmerman to hire a lawyer right after the incident if he was a crime victim who was assaulted by Martin. Zimmerman also quickly lined up family and friends of his to publicly claim that his account of the incident was the true story. But, physical and circumstantial evidence is quickly calling into question Zimmerman’s account of the fatal shooting incident.
Voice experts now confirm that without question it was Trayvon Martin crying for help on the 911 call, and not Zimmerman moments before he was shot to death. Trayvon Martin may also have been suspended from school for having a trace of marijuana in an empty baggie, but otherwise he had no public history of arrests or violence to suggest that he was the aggressor in this incident.
Some civil rights leaders sought to make this incident into a racial incident, however George Zimmerman is the mother of a Hispanic woman, and has at least one African-American close friend who rushed to publicly defend him, strongly suggesting that this incident had little to do with race, but rather was the unfortunate act of someone who lacked good judgement and was unfit to own a gun.
Filmmaker Spike Lee had to apologize for giving out the home address of George Zimmerman in a Tweet as he seemed to be attempting to set Zimmerman up for violence. And some Websites have run pictures of Zimmerman with a gun target painted over him. The Black Panthers offered some sort of bounty to bring him to justice. But, none of this nonsense was very helpful, and only helped to complicate the effort to search for the truth in this case. Legal incidents need to addressed through the legal system, and not through the court of public opinion or emotion.