Chris Francescani has written an article for Reuters titled George Zimmerman: Prelude to a shooting. Billing itself as a “nuanced portrait of Zimmerman,” the article has been shared over 15,000 times on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking websites.
The Reuters investigation uses the history of burglaries in the neighborhood where Trayvon Martin’s father lived to rationalize Trayvon’s murder. Predictably, its ‘nuanced portrait’ has been championed by Zimmerman apologists who view its content as fodder for their ongoing smear campaign against Trayvon Martin.
Though, Reuters and Francescani flesh out the burglaries with interviews and new details, the Zimmerman’s long history of violent and antisocial behavior is crammed into a few sentences:
- There is no detailed explanation of Zimmerman’s runs-in with the law for domestic violence, assault and battery on police officer, or resisting arrest — or of the restraining order against Zimmerman.
- There is no serious discussion of why and how Zimmerman had to take court-ordered anger management classes in 2005.
- There is no mention at all of how Zimmerman got fired from his job for overly aggressive behavior after he “snapped” and went “nuts” according to coworkers.
It would seem important to include in the ‘prelude to a shooting’ a thorough explanation of the shooter’s history of lawlessness. But Francescani is more concerned with ‘rationalizing a shooting’ by blaming Trayvon Martin for burglaries that did not involve him.
It won’t work. No amount of rationalization and victim-blaming will change this simple fact: Trayvon Martin, who was unarmed and minding his business while walking to his father’s home in his father’s neighborhood, would still be alive if an armed stranger with a demonstrated penchant for thuggish behavior had left him alone.