May 23, 2012

I don't think that anyone can deny that the intense media reporting and ensuing public pressure are directly responsible for the state and federal investigations into the death of Trayvon Martin.  Quite frankly, if his parents had never gone to the media with their story, the Sanford police department was fully prepared to allow Trayvon's death to simply become a closed case, a feather in the cap of George Zimmerman.  I applaud the family for their dedication to Trayvon and their pursuit of justice and I know that without the media interest that they generated there never would have been an arrest in this case.

The problem is, now that the media has been invited in, they certainly don't intend to leave and their reporting has the power to thwart justice.  I cringed when I saw the interview with Sybrina Fulton after Zimmerman's arrest when she described the shooting as an "accident that got out of control", a statement she later retracted.  But her written retraction won't have nearly the same effect as a live interview on a national television show.  Now, I know some of you are thinking that the media cannot be blamed for her word choice, and I am not saying that they should be.  I'm saying that once the arrest was made, everyone associated with the prosecution of this case should have stopped talking to the media.

The only person with anything to gain by speaking to the media at this point, is George Zimmerman. The defense needs to put a fresh spin on things and they need to sway public support for a self defense claim.  The release of the pictures of the bruises and the medical report from his doctor (which I'm sorry seems really suspect to me...two black eyes but they're not visible in pictures?) are all good defense strategies and it means Zimmerman's lawyers are doing their job.  But what I don't understand is why anyone in Trayvon's family or otherwise associated with this case is still talking to the media.

From a legal standpoint, it appears to be an active effort to torpedo the case against George Zimmerman.  Some of the reports contain information that would not be admissible in court and only serve to taint the potential jury pool.  I heard someone say the other day that the problem was that the left leaning media has tried to portray Trayvon as some angel and that it causes conservatives to be defensive.  That statement confuses me.  First of all the right leaning media actively set out to portray Trayvon as a thug who somehow had it coming.  They went so far as to post pictures of a young Black man shirtless and with his pants hanging off his butt and claimed that they were pics of Trayvon when they were not.  But more importantly, since when do you have to be an angel to deserve to live???

And with all of this media coverage, we still don't have an answer to the most important question, Why did George Zimmerman get out of his vehicle that day?? See, if he doesn't exit his vehicle to confront Trayvon, we never have a fight.  If we never have a fight then there is no need to pull out a gun and shoot right? So if the purpose of the media coverage is to find the truth, then someone please answer that question for me, why did you get out of the car??

At this point, I would think that even the defense would want a gag order since the latest reports are from a witness saying that Zimmerman's demeanor was "casual" after the shooting, as if it was no big deal.  But even if they don't want one, I implore the Martin family to stop talking to the media.  Stop letting anyone close to you talk to the media.  I don't believe that you are seeking fame or even money because you could have filed a civil suit without ever pushing for a criminal investigation but you clearly wanted justice and accountability and the media just can't give you that.  I suppose at this point asking you to put your faith in the justice system is akin to asking you to let the man who burglarized you, house sit while you go on vacation but it is the only way to see vindication for the murder of your son.

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