CHICAGO, March 20, 2012—The Trayvon Martin tragedy demonstrates two things. Most people, including the media, are ignorant of how the criminal justice system really works. Secondly, they are gullible and will believe anything, no matter how outlandish, especially if a so-called expert is involved.
Why hasn’t George Zimmerman, who admitted shooting and killing Trayvon Martin, been arrested?
Arresting a person means charging them with a crime. Police need probable cause that a crime was committed and the suspect committed the actual crime. The preliminary investigation indicated no crime was committed under Florida law. There is a difference between a legal crime and a social or moral crime.
Just because a preliminary investigation has ended does not mean George Zimmerman cannot be arrested and charged at some future point in time. The case was turned over to prosecutors, as violent death investigations usually are. Reports state that a grand jury will be empanelled to investigate.
Investigations can take days, weeks, months, or years. Some have taken decades, even though the actual perpetrator of a crime is known. Knowing a crime has been committed, having probable cause to arrest an offender, and legally proving it in court are entirely different things.
Let’s look at some of the so-called “hard evidence” the media, outraged citizens, and the carnival barking so-called legal and law enforcement experts are using to justify arresting George Zimmerman:
The law mandates that George Zimmerman should have been arrested.
Law enforcement has no legal requirement or obligation to make an immediate arrest for anything. There is no mandate. There is no question that Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman admitted it. There is a question as to whether or not a crime—a legal crime not a social or moral crime—was committed.
Mr. Zimmerman called the police 46 times in one year.
This is absolutely meaningless and ludicrous. It is not an indication of premeditated criminal activity. It is not an indication of anything. If he called 365 or 730 times in one year it proves nothing, except the experts are not really experts.
Mr. Zimmerman was not tested for drugs or alcohol. Trayvon Martin was.
Except for DUIs, police cannot test suspects for drugs or alcohol, unless the accused demands or consents to it, or they get a warrant. Trayvon Martin was tested for drugs and alcohol because it is the normal procedure of autopsies to determine the exact cause of death or contributing factors of death. The so-called law enforcement and legal experts who claim Zimmerman should have been tested demonstrate they have no expertise. As stated before, they are carnival barkers.
George Zimmerman is a racist.
There is no proof of that. Being a racist is socially and morally repugnant. It is not illegal.
This was a hate crime.
See above. There is no evidence that a hate crime was committed. No one heard Mr. Zimmerman call Trayvon Martin a racial epithet before, during or after the incident. A—h— is not a racial epithet, no matter how many code word cryptologists come out of the woodwork.
George Zimmerman did not obey the police dispatcher.
Disobeying a police dispatcher is not illegal. It is stupid. Stupidity is not a crime.
George Zimmerman was an overzealous neighborhood watch captain.
So what? It is not an indication of criminal behavior. It does not prove he was hunting people down to kill them.
George Zimmerman had some minor scrapes with the law.
So have vast numbers of other people. Some were even allowed to become police officers, federal agents, and high elected officials.
The federal government has stepped in.
They stepped in because of national publicity and power politics; some congressmen have their shorts in a twist. The Department of Justice and the F.B.I. will take no action unless they have jurisdiction. They will investigate to determine if a federal crime was committed. They also have much more stringent standards for arresting people than local police.
The cell phone call to Trayvon Martin’s (girl) friend.
Nothing in that call indicates a crime was committed or going to be committed. It only shows Martin was fearful of Zimmerman following him.
Here is something the so-called legal experts are not telling you. Arresting George Zimmerman the day of the incident, even on a minor charge of reckless conduct, would have been potentially damaging to future prosecution. Once someone is arrested a clock starts ticking. He must be arraigned or brought before a grand jury within a certain time period. He must be brought to trial by a certain date. If the police and prosecutor’s investigation is not complete in order to charge him with more serious crimes, or it is weak, a judge would let George Zimmerman walk. That could hypothetically happen the first day of a trial. What would all the exploding heads do with their moral indignation then?
Trayvon Martin was killed. George Zimmerman killed him. That is all we legally know, no matter how many lawyers, experts, or professional social justice protesters spout speculation.
This happened in Florida. Remember the Casey Anthony trial and that media circus? Casey Anthony was accused of murdering her child, Caylee. She was tried and convicted in the court of public opinion.
Remember all those “expert” circus clowns and carnival barkers who populated the airwaves convinced of Casey Anthony’s guilt?
A Florida jury found Casey Anthony not guilty of murdering her child.
Do people want George Zimmerman arrested or do they want justice? There is a difference.
If it is legal justice they want, then it should be done the right way, the proper way, the American way.
If they want social or moral justice they should go live someplace else.
Peter V. Bella is a retired Chicago Police Officer, freelance writer and photographer, cook, and raconteur. He likes to be the sharp stick that pokes, prods, and annoys. His opinions are his and his alone.
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