OCALA, Fla., November 19, 2013 — George Zimmerman is back in jail, and for reasons which have nothing to do with Trayvon Martin.
Yesterday morning, his live-in girlfriend called the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office with a frightening message. She claimed that Zimmerman was threatening her with a shotgun and eventually forced her out of their home, barricading the front door.
This girlfriend, 27-year-old Samantha Scheibe, first gained national attention over two months ago. She accompanied Zimmerman to a home that he and his estranged wife, Shellie, shared. While Schiebe waited outside, a highly publicized dispute between the Zimmermans erupted.
George is charged with three criminal counts, one of which is a felony that carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years’ incarceration. He was not offered bail and currently sits in county confinement.
Over the summer, Zimmerman was found not guilty of any legal wrongdoing in the death of Martin. On a cold late February evening in 2012, Zimmerman, then a neighborhood watch captain, fatally shot Martin in the former’s gated community. Zimmerman claimed that he acted in self-defense. Early media reports, resulting from a public relations effort put forth by Martin’s parents, painted Zimmerman in a negative light.
Afterward, Martin’s history of truancy, firearms-related issues, and handling marijuana, among other things, came to attention.
Originally, no charges were filed against Zimmerman. After a controversial special prosecutor was commissioned, however, he was charged with second-degree murder.
Evidence indicates that Zimmerman suffered head injuries the night Martin died, though some still believe how and why remains a mystery. What can be certain, however, is that the shooting’s aftermath has been highly polarizing.
It also drew considerable attention to the oft-overlooked central Florida port city of Sanford, where the shooting took place. Said polarization and attention are rooted in racial tensions which have long plagued American society.
Zimmerman eventually became a composite figure at which many directed their discontent. Essentially, he morphed into our decade’s straw man for race-based grievances from those who consider themselves oppressed. This left little room for discussion about who Zimmerman actually is.
In July, his older brother, and de facto public spokesman, Robert, told The Washington Times Communities that “George is a protector. Clearly, he was discouraged [at] the notion of a gated (at least partially) community being overrun by crime. I think being the [first] to approach the police to establish a neighborhood watch speaks volumes about his character. He was the [first to] aid his neighbors, and in addition to averting crimes in progress had the trust of his neighbors.”
“My brother visited me when he interviewed for the Prince William County Police Department [and] was seemingly interested in the criminal justice field generally,” Robert later continued.
“We both learned from our father (VA Magistrate) that law enforcement was a balancing act between the rights of the accused & the law. Following the letter of the law was our dad’s description of what made a good LEO or Judge.
“Eventually, George would have probably pursued law school [and] then after practicing law he may have set his sights on becoming a judge or magistrate. Judges are not people who incarcerate people - often, they correct egregious miscarriages of justice.”
Shortly after Martin died, it was assumed that George Zimmerman was white, and due to his last name, perhaps of Ashkenazic Jewish background. As time wore on, though, the facts illustrated his Peruvian heritage and Christianity — for starters.
Interestingly enough, Zimmerman is not only a minority, but the same kind that Martin was. An old family photo shows one of the man’s great grandfathers was Afro-Peruvian. Furthermore, for all of that talk about Zimmerman being a far-right lunatic, he is a registered Democrat.
Last year, the Miami Herald managed to dig up Zimmerman’s Myspace page, which has not been updated in roughly eight years. Nonetheless, there are more than a few interesting things written on it by, barring an unlikely act of computer hacking, Zimmerman himself.
Friendship, it appears, means a great deal to Zimmerman. Perhaps this is why he says that the people he wants most to meet are “Friends, let me be specific…. Tru friends”. He also mentions that he is “Straight”, “Latino/Hispanic”, “5’ 10”” tall, “Roman Catholic”, aspiring to have children, a drinker but not a smoker, “High school” educated, and last but not least, at an income level of “$45 to $60,000”.
Zimmerman’s story is a tragic one, to put it mildly.
While not appearing to be a psychotic bigot with the propensity for casual murder, he has serious anger issues. In the past, his then-fiance accused him of physical abuse. Zimmerman’s temper was reported to cost him a security guard job. He was arrested in 2005 for assaulting a law enforcement officer, but the matter was plea bargained out of court. It was said that he abandoned Shellie following his exoneration in the Martin case.
According to Scheibe, the couple have been together since August. Zimmerman told police she was pregnant by him, which was denied on her part. The SCSO stated that it appears both were in a relationship-driven fight when Scheibe dialed 911. Of course, Zimmerman remains, in a technical sense, married to Shellie.
The whole situation, created by Zimmerman’s life choices, is rotten to its core.
While he has yet to face prosecution for the Scheibe incident, his future looks bleak. Zimmerman has no one other than himself to blame for this. Perhaps his forced Martin-related disconnect from society can explain a great deal of his recent actions. It seems no stretch to say that he does not view the world around him as most do.
While it certainly would be advisable for George to keep a next-to-nonexistent, let alone low, profile, he appears to have his own ideas. The key question is this: Does he incorporate reason into
his decision making?
The answer is obviously “no”. For that, he is paying a high price.
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