The not-guilty verdict in the Zimmerman murder case in Florida on July 13 confirmed what the local police had concluded last year — that this neighborhood volunteer had shot and killed a young man in apparent self defense.
George Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder only after a campaign of political pressure in which even President Obama took part. National media piled on as well, with one network going so far as to edit a transcript of a 911 call to make Zimmerman sound like a racist.
All this turned it into a political case, the kind of prosecution we should not like to see if we want criminal justice administered based on facts and evidence, not on marches or rallies or demonstrations of rage. Now, again because of political pressure, the federal government is considering prosecuting Zimmerman again.
There is one obvious lesson worth highlighting. If you’re going to be a volunteer who patrols your neighborhood, you had better take a radio or cell phone in case you need to call the cops. But unless you want the kind of grief that Zimmerman got, and will likely continue to get, you’d best leave your gun at home. (hh)