As many wise people wrote during the height of the Trayvon Martin case, public morality plays don’t always align neatly with the deep-seated social injustices we connect them to. It was never clear to me that Zimmerman was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of racially profiling and then intentionally killing Trayvon Martin. Based on the evidence that was a difficult case to make. But that’s what Florida prosecutors charged him with. I don’t remember the ins and outs of Florida law. But what seemed more clear cut was something like manslaughter or negligent homicide. It always seemed possible to me that Zimmerman was just a coward with a gun and something to prove who got scared and killed a kid.
Obviously we still can’t know just what happened that night. But police have now responded to two domestic violence incidents with two separate women in less than three months – and this in less than five months since his acquittal.
After the first incident with Zimmerman’s estranged wife, some speculated that she and her father may have concocted or embellished the story to retaliate against him in the context of their divorce. This was never likely. But it wasn’t impossible either. Men and women do make false claims during a divorce. So there was always the outside possibility that Zimmerman’s wife and her father might have lied or embellished to get him back in trouble with the law. Remember, she had earlier pled guilty to perjuring herself on his behalf shortly after the shooting.
Now we have him allegedly pointing a loaded weapon at his new girlfriend and apparently barricading himself in the house after police arrived on the scene. Add to this the earlier history of violent incidents including violently resisting arrest in 2005 and the real world verdict is now beyond a reasonable doubt as to this point: Zimmerman is a liar and a habitually violent and frequently out of control man who should never have been allowed to possess a gun.
Given all we know now about Zimmerman and all the additional evidence he’s provided us with post-acquittal, there’s simply no reason to doubt the worst case scenario of how Trayvon Martin died. The only real question is whether Zimmerman shot him in cold blood or killed him during the confrontation he himself forced to happen.
Those who supported the Martin family and were outraged by the verdict and the whole case have every right to grim ‘I told you sos’ and even snark aimed at Zimmerman’s dead-ender defenders. But speaking for myself it is more a sense of being sick to my stomach. Yes, it’s an injustice we already knew about. But this just makes it all the more clear who Zimmerman is and by whatever mix of details what happened. And I can’t help but think of that kid lying dead on his back.
One can only hope that this latest incident will end up as Zimmerman’s OJ moment, where a less serious offense becomes the hook the revisit an earlier injustice.
Who can say this man isn’t a public menace?