Tuesday, May 01, 2012


Jeff Lipkes has an interesting theory on why one of the Sanford, FL police investigators told Trayvon Martin's father that he did not believe George Zimmerman's account of the shooting.  Apparently it was the fact that Mr. Martin had been led to believe that the police were going to arrest and charge Zimmerman which caused him to contact an attorney when it seemed that no charges would be forthcoming.

The attorney hired a publicist who took the story national and the rest is, as they say, history:

We don't know about anyone's motives except our own, of course, and even then we have a marvelous capacity to deceive ourselves.  But there could have been a reason why Serino and other officers may have been eager to press charges against Zimmerman and, in particular, to see the African-American community in Sanford up in arms about the case.

Just after midnight on December 4, 2010, a fight broke out in a bar in Sanford called The Wet Spot.  The last part of it was captured on video.  It was on YouTube the next day, of course.  If you do something outrageous or criminal in public, there's a good chance tens of thousands will be watching it within 24 hours, but this never seems to be much of a deterrent.  In the video, a large white male comes up behind a man involved in another fight, or breaking it up, and hits him in the back of the head and back, knocking him to the ground.  He then attacks someone else, but this guy sees him and wrestles him to the ground.  "Justin, don't hit people just randomly," a girl yells at the assailant.  

The man on the drunken rampage was 21-year-old Justin Collison.  It was not his first brush with the law.  Three years earlier he'd been arrested for firing on an SUV with three men inside, wounding one man.  But Collison was not handcuffed or arrested, or charged with battery on December 4.  His father, Christopher Collison, is a lieutenant with the Sanford Police Department.  The night of the earlier shooting, according to the incident report, "Collison bragged all night that his father was Sanford law enforcement and that he could blow anyone's head off and get away with it."  The police cited conflicting accounts of the fight on December 4.  The first victim, Sherman Ware, who was knocked unconscious, was himself intoxicated and didn't cooperate with the officers.  He is a homeless man, and an African-American.

Naturally, there was outrage that the culprit was going unpunished.  One Sanford resident was especially indignant: George Zimmerman.  The watch captain wrote and printed four different flyers.  According to family members, he passed these out in front of African-American churches and put them on cars in the black community.  The flyers urged everyone to attend a meeting of the Sanford City Commission on January 8, 2011 and protest the injustice.  Presumably Zimmerman was there and spoke out about the case.  Two flyers begin with the quotation from Edmund Burke that also appears on Zimmerman's website: "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

There were serious consequences for the Sanford Police Department.  The Chief, Brian Tooley, resigned on January 3, the same day Justin Collison turned himself in and offered to pay for Ware's medical expenses.  Tooley had been scheduled to resign at the end of the month.  The chief and ten other officers were investigated by the Seminole County Sheriff's Office.  While its 44-page report concluded that there was no preferential treatment given to Collison, the Sheriff's Office recommended that all officers receive training as to the requirements of the State Attorney's Office when probable-cause arrests are made.  On January 23, Collison was charged with felony battery and disorderly conduct.

A police department is like any other department or office: there are rivalries, animosities, factions.  Other officers must have known what a jerk Justin Collison was and may have been upset that he was not booked and charged.  The case against the eleven officers was brought by another officer in the department.

But at least some members of the Sanford Police Department may have had unpleasant associations with Zimmerman.  They recalled him not as the diligent watch captain who had repeatedly reported problems to them, but as a community agitator who had played the race card.  He was the guy who sicced the NAACP on the department.  It would be poetic justice if now he were to be targeted by the NAACP.   If this supposition is correct, it's safe to say no one imagined the ultimate consequences.

We will eventually hear Chris Serino's testimony about what he concluded in his investigation and what he told Tracy Martin.  But it's hard to believe that an experienced investigator would have unintentionally given a victim's father hope for an outcome that he could not guarantee.  An experienced investigator would be able to comfort a grieving father without inciting him.

The fact that Zimmerman had been engaged in activism to get a the son of a Sanford police officer charged with a crime for beating a black man has been brought out as evidence that Zimmerman is not motivated by animus toward blacks.  However it has not, until this, been suggested that it could have been a motive for some on the Sanford police force to want to make Mr. Zimmerman's life difficult.  But the idea is entirely plausible.

It is supreme irony that George Zimmerman, a "person of color" who has engaged in community organizing on behalf of a homeless African-American man and against police corruption is being torn to pieces by a left-wing media and civil rights establishment (aided and abetted by no less than the nation's Community Organizer in Chief - and fellow man of color - Barack Obama).  And all for the "crime" of defending himself against an even more politically correct attacker.

I guess that George Zimmerman is learning the same lesson that Hillary Clinton learned in 2008.  To the left when it is black vs. anything else, whether brown or woman, black will always win.

Under the "one drop rule" which is used by both antebellum slave owners and modern civil rights activists anyone with even "one drop" of black blood is to be considered black.  Since we now know that Zimmerman is directly descended from at least one black person he could have spent his life identifying himself as black rather than Hispanic.  Had he done so his shooting of Martin - whatever the circumstances, self defense or cold blooded murder - would have been of absolutely no interest to Barack Obama, Al Sharpton or the national left-wing media.