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Shouldn't the background of Mr. Zimmerman be relevant, too

  • Published in Letters

To The Daily Sun,

Over the past several weeks there have been many letters filled with speculation and conjecture regarding events leading up to the death of Trayvon Martin. The issue that is common in most, is race, and the role it may or may not have played. A refreshing letter from Mr. Andrew Engler says it best when he writes that, "I was not there for the confrontation that night so really have no business in determining what happened ... a jury heard the evidence and came to a conclusion. They were far more qualified to do so than are you and I."

Despite all the rhetoric, the only individual who knows if race was a motivating factor is George Zimmerman.

In referencing this tragic event, Mr. Ewing makes a dramatic sweeping generalization that the "incident revealed corruption of our media" — I'm sure he's including Fox News and other conservative media in that condemnation. But rather than defending the Stand Your Ground law or discussing the verdict of the jury, it's unfortunate instead that he went after the victim, portraying him as a doped-up hallucinatory career criminal who probably had it coming.

Medical examiners found THC, an ingredient in marijuana, when they tested Martin's blood and urine, but the amount was of such a low level that it would have played no role in his behavior the night he was killed. The level described can be seen days after somebody smokes. Ultimately, whether Martin was a perfect person or not is irrelevant to whether Zimmerman's conduct that night was justified. Clearly, there are two different versions of the events that transpired on February 26th, the night Martin was killed.

To be "fair and balanced" shouldn't Mr. Ewing have provided us with the relative background on George Zimmerman? His criminal records reveal that he does not have a clean past and has several brushes with the law. Records seem to indicate that he does have an aggressive personality. In 2005 Zimmerman was arrested and charged with "resisting officer with violence" and battery of law enforcement officer." Both of these felonies are considered third degree. Due to his desperate attempts, and possibly the fact that his father was an Orange County magistrate judge, the charges were reduced to "resisting officer without violence and the remaining charge was waived when he entered an alcohol education program. Again in 2005, Zimmerman's ex-fiancé was granted a restraining order alleging domestic violence. Prior to the events of February 26th, Zimmerman's neighbors complained about his aggressive tactics to the local police and the homeowners association. In police interviews, acquaintances of Zimmerman described him as a racist and very confrontational.

Who had the right to stand their ground — Martin or Zimmerman? The Florida Stand Your Ground law is a murky mess at best, which will hopefully lead people to start thinking and reevaluating. With this having been said, it risks a change in the law, and the NRA simply cannot have a defeat to their agenda of extending the scope of the Second Amendment. Political influence is what's most important — to hell with innocent victims.

L. J. Siden