If the family of Trayvon Martin is hoping for accountability in his death, they’ll have a better shot with the Justice Department than they will the State of Florida.
By Denise Clay
ABOVE PHOTO: The parents of Trayvon Martin, Tracy Martin, left, and Sybrina Fulton, center, meet with State Attorney Angela Corey, right, in the courtroom, Friday, April 20, 2012, during a bond hearing for George Zimmerman in Sanford, Fla.
(AP Photo/Orlando Sentinel, Gary W. Green, Pool)
Trayvon Martin had marijuana in his system.
George Zimmerman had bruises and scratches on his body that he got from Trayvon Martin.
Zimmerman also has a host of supporters that have been contributing money to his defense and he’s raised about $140,000 so far.
None of this has anything to do with the fact that Zimmerman allegedly stalked, tussled with, and shot a kid armed with a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea.
None of this has anything to do with the fact that police told the Poster Child For Why Neighborhood Watch Is Sometimes A Bad Idea to stay in his car and to not pursue the “suspect” that he was following.
None of this has anything to do with the fact that the Stanford, Fla. Police Department did the kind of investigative job in this case that would make Deputy Barney Fife of Mayberry squirm.
But it will all figure in to whether or not the Martin family ever gets the accountability they’re seeking in Trayvon’s death.
From the moment media attention was brought to Trayvon’s death and the marches, shows of support for the family and television appearances by the Martin family started to happen, I told everyone I knew that if the Martin family was hoping for justice in this case, they’d find it in the Federal courts, not in the state of Florida.
I stand behind that.
In fact, just as Geraldo Rivera has since doubled-down on his “Hoodies as Thug Wear” argument in this case, I’m doubling down on my contention that it will be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it will be for the Martin family to see Zimmerman jailed for his alleged crime.
Wanna know why I believe this?
Because the case just gets more and more convoluted the longer it stretches out.
Last week, half of the evidence collected against Zimmerman in this case was released for public consumption, something that makes me think that Prosecutor Angela Corey doesn’t know her head from her butt.
Among those pieces of evidence were the traces of THC, or the ingredient that makes you feel kinda sorta happy in marijuana in Trayvon’s system, and the fact that Zimmerman was at intermediate range when he put a bullet into the young man’s heart and that he couldn’t have avoided shooting him if he wanted to.
(By the way, if you can tell me what “intermediate range” means, you get a cookie!)
Shortly after the release of the evidence, four witnesses changed their stories.
And, predictably, all of the folks who see young Black men as an animalistic threat to be neutralized rather than people to be respected like everyone else, crawled out from under their respective rocks.
In a New York Daily News article, Alan Dershowitz called for the case against Zimmerman to be dropped, while other so-called legal minds said that even if the case went to trial, this evidence shows that Zimmerman was within the range of Florida’s one-size-does-not-fit-all Stand Your Ground law when he plugged Trayvon.
(Ah, yes…Florida…where you can shoot an unarmed kid, but you can’t shoot at the guy who’s been kicking your butt for years….especially if you’re a Black woman…)
And then there’s Geraldo and his “you shouldn’t have been Black and wearing a hooded sweatshirt at night while going to the 7-Eleven” argument. Heck, even my Twin Brother The Republican felt the need to give me the “you need to understand how the world works” lecture when I told him that I wasn’t expecting justice in the first place.
But I do understand how the world works, and that’s why I won’t be surprised when folks are once again taking to the streets and chanting “No Justice, No Peace…”
You see, 10 years ago, a dude named Rodney King got his behind kicked by the police in Los Angeles for speeding in a Hundai. There was video of the butt kicking. Daryl Gates, LA’s Police Chief at the time, damn near threw a parade for the cops that did the butt kicking. It was a clear-cut case of police brutality.
Except it wasn’t.
A jury in Simi Valley, Calif., the whitest, most pro-police section of Southern California, found this butt kicking totally justified.
That’s because when it comes to young Black men, butt kickings, homicide by police, and even homicide by police impersonators is totally okay.
King later filed a civil rights suit with the Department of Justice and received a small measure of justice, not to mention a few bucks.
The Martin family might as well prepare to do the same thing.