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Misplaced Outrage

2012 July 26

Anger and outrage toward George Zimmerman — prejudged or not — is understandable. Trayvon Martin, an apparently innocent 14-year-old kid, is dead, and Zimmerman killed him. But whatever responsibility Zimmerman has (and will be judged to have had) for that death, he is not also responsible for the actions of the local authorities who dealt with the aftermath of that death. So for those in the media and elsewhere who appear to be blaming Zimmerman for not being held or charged at the time of the incident, your emotions are misplaced. Zimmerman’s not to blame for still being free.

Save the hue and cry concerning the defandant for the upcoming trial, whenever that might occur. The investigation by the Sanford police department — and whichever other judges or politicians might have been involved in deciding whether Zimmerman should have immediately faced charges — was apparently faulty from the start. Because beyond the issues relating to detaining and charging, Zimmerman reportedly was allowed to keep his gun (which allegedly was neither examined nor tested), and the same is true of the clothing he was wearing at the time of the shooting. He was never drug tested — though it has been reported that Trayvon Martin, the victim, was. These basic evidence-gathering mistakes will be impediments to successfully trying the defendant, no doubt, but the motives behind what the authorities did — and did not do — in the hours following the killing must be called into serious question.

Because don’t forget this: It also has been reported that the police did not call Trayvon’s girlfriend, or parents, or any of the other numbers in Trayvon’s cell phone, for two whole days — 48 hours! — following Trayvon’s death. They just let the young black teenager lie on a slab in a morgue, or wherever else, as if he were simply less than. And none of that was George Zimmerman’s fault. So who will pay for it?

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