“It is time for us to turn to each other, not on each other” – Jesse Jackson
The George Zimmerman trial began today. For those out-of-the-loop, Zimmerman is charged with second degree murder of Trayvon Martin back in 2012. The story goes approximately like this: Zimmerman (a member of a neighborhood watch) saw Martin walking through the neighborhood “looking suspicious”, called 911, followed Martin, and accosted him. Some sort of struggle ensued and Zimmerman ended up shooting Martin to death. Zimmerman claims self-defense, the prosecution claims second degree murder.
I can’t say that I’ve followed the case that closely since the killing, but I seriously doubt the second degree murder charge will stick. I don’t think anybody is challenging the story I laid out above, other than the details of the struggle that lead to the shooting. Did Zimmerman or Martin initiate the fight? Was it Zimmerman or Martin heard on 911 tapes screaming for help? With no eye witnesses (other than Zimmerman himself) I doubt we’ll ever get to the bottom. I do suspect that the prosecution will have a hard time proving that Zimmerman started the fight, and that Martin screamed for help before Zimmerman shot him. Meaning I suspect Zimmerman will be acquitted of the second degree murder charge.
When I say that I suspect the trial will “end poorly” I’m not talking about the nature of the verdict. My preference is for the truth, whatever that may be. Regardless, I suspect the outcome will be an acquittal on the second degree murder charge. I don’t know if Zimmerman stands accused of some lesser crime, or if the jury can reduce the charge, but there is a real possibility that Zimmerman will go free after the trial. I can only imagine this will lead to riots. Serious, severe, destructive riots. It could be really ugly. The riots in a Zimmerman acquittal would be bigger than Rodney King.
I don’t mean to cast aspersions here about who is right or wrong in this case or “appropriate” reactions to a verdict. I simply think Zimmerman will be acquitted of the “big” charge, possibly acquitted of all charges, and such an acquittal will lead to riots. I’m more than willing to be wrong on either account, but especially the latter (on the former I prefer only truth). Time will tell.