It’s understandable. If your child is shot, you want justice. A mother will never rest until her child is avenged. It’s acceptable to be angry, it’s acceptable to be helpful in the investigation, it’s acceptable not to stop fighting for your child’s name until justice has been served. The love of a mother for her child fills all voids and crosses all time and space.
What isn’t acceptable is creating a lynch-mob mentality. It’s not acceptable to interfere and slow down an investigation in a rage driven by emotions. It’s not acceptable to create a scenario where due process cannot happen.
I for one have been sickened by the behavior of a massive amount of American people through the Trayvon Martin case. George Zimmerman has cooperated with the investigation through and through. Trayvon Martin’s family and the national media started an avalanche of hatred that has damaged the integrity of this case and cannot be stopped.
How dare American people march around with hoodies and skittles without knowing any of the facts in this case. How dare the media fuel this fire without having looked at any of the pieces of evidence gathered in this case. How dare this man be considered guilty without due process, which is one of the building blocks of this country. I was shocked and saddened to see a march like this in Portland, a state where I expect people to use intelligence rather than emotions to drive their actions.
When I asked Portland people why they were marching for this case, the answers varied from, “We’re against guns!” to, “We want to see that man brought to justice”, to “Profiling is wrong!” None of these answers had anything to do with the question at hand: Did Zimmerman act within the confines of the law?
Zimmerman cannot have a fair trial anywhere thanks to the overreaction of the nation in this case. I will not claim that he is innocent or guilty, because that is not my job. That is not why I am here, and unless you stand on that jury or in the place of the judge overseeing this trial, it is not your job either. It is not your right, it is not your place, and it is making a clear investigation in this case impossible.
I think of the Biblical character Pontius Pilot. When the Pharisees brought Jesus before him, they demanded a crucifixion with no proof that he’d broken the law. Because the Pharisees were on a mission for Jesus’ blood, they riled up the crowd with untruths and exaggerations, and the crowd was out for blood. Pilot sent them to the King because he could find no reason to crucify Jesus. The king also saw no reason to crucify him, but that wasn’t acceptable to the Pharisees, so they went back to Pilot demanding the crucifixion of Jesus, or war. The situation was so out of control that Pilot had no choice but to let the people crucify him. Jesus couldn’t have a fair trial, the crowd had already made the decision to put him to death.
The comparison isn’t between Jesus and Zimmerman, it’s between Pilot and the people who must decide his fate, and between the people causing other American people to form a negative opinion based on gossip and the Pharasees. It’s check mate for Zimmerman, not based on evidence, but based on hatred.
In a lawsuit filed by Zimmerman’s attorneys against Al Sharpton, NBC, and the Martin family attorneys, Zimmerman will be attempting to recover damages for Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Defamation and Invasion of Privacy, and Malpractice. Let’s look at this:
1. Infliction of Emotional Distress-Zimmerman has been forced into hiding. He has been portrayed as the most despicable man in the universe by Sharpton, NBC, and the Martin Family.
2. Defamation and Invasion of Privacy-see above.
3. Malpractice-It doesn’t take a brainiac to see that attorney Benjamin Crump contacted Al Sharpton who put on the pressure to make the arrest after a grand jury had already decided based on evidence that there was no reason to do so.
I get it. A child is dead. I am a mother, and I know the value of a child’s life. I also get that the law is in place for a reason, and under no circumstance are we to stand in the way of an investigation that could alter a person’s life more than it already is.
It’s easy to come up with a hair-brained conclusion about people. I could easily look down at Treyvon Martin’s mom, who days after the murder of her son, filed applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to trademark the slogans “I am Trayvon” and “Justice for Trayvon” and say that she was trying to capitalize on his death. I could start a wildfire against her through social media over the decision to do this…..but should I? I haven’t looked at any evidence as to what her motivation was to trademark slogans surrounding her son’s death, so for me to form an opinion without evidence as to why would be wrong.
The facts are, a young man is dead, an adult man admitted to the shooting and is also cooperating with the investigation, a family is in mourning, and our nation is so angry about the state of its existence that it is ready to jump on any angry bandwagon and start a revolution.
A Men In Black quote sticks out in my head, “A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.”
For a full breakdown of the lawsuit from Zimmerman against Al Sharpton, NBC, and the Martin family attorneys, Wausau Legal Education Examiner’s article ‘Zimmerman’s Lawsuit Against Al Sharpton, NBC, and the Martin Family Attorneys.