Gloucester Daily Times
---- — To the editor:
I am writing regarding the verdict in Florida’s Zimmerman case, and I must say I wholeheartedly agree with Mtchael Cook (Letters, the Times, Monday, July 22).
Here’s why: The verdict itself was valid: It was the only verdict the jury could reach based upon the evidence presented to them by the prosecution. It was what the jury did not hear that disturbs me, and is the reasoning for my feelings of injustice.
I paid full attention to the pre-trial hearings, interviews, and the trial itself. Allow me to present my case, and conclusion, and you be the judge. Here’s what the jury did not hear from the prosecution, along with a lesser charge, the prosecution did not proffer.
A 17-year-old boy is dead because of an overzealous authority driven adult who had a blatant disregard for the rules and regulations of those with authority over him.
Mr. Zimmerman agreed to obey the rules and regulations of the Neighborhood Watch Organization, when he accepted his volunteer position, as a captain in his own neighborhood. One of those rules, which he disregarded, is that Neighborhood Watch prohibits its volunteers from being armed while on voluntary patrol.
I can only conclude that Neighborhood Watch wanted to avoid this very kind of situation. Armed, and at the ready, Mr. Zimmerman, again, blatantly was in direct disregard of the basic rules of firearm safety. His semi-automatic, though holstered, had a live round in the chamber, indicating that the weapon was also cocked, and in firing mode; not even was the safety set (an act of negligence).
I was taught not to carry a sidearm if I did not intend to use it.
Mr. Zimmerman’s actions are those of a man preparing to use his weapon. Had he not disregarded common sense safety precautions with his weapon, injury to either himself or an innocent bystander would have been prevented.
Ditto, had he not disregarded the rules prohibiting carrying even a licensed firearm while on voluntary patrol for Neighborhood Watch. Mr. Zimmerman could and should have locked his weapon in his vehicle, when he decided to get out of his vehicle to follow a suspicious person, against police direction to not follow the person, and wait for police to arrive.
But his overzealous nature, and desire for authority, led him to disregard all direction given to him by authoritative figures; and exit his vehicle with a primed, ready to fire sidearm.
Had he obeyed any, or all of the directives he was given, a boy would still be alive. However, the jury never heard that reckless, negligent, disobedient behavior of one George Zimmerman. Perhaps if they had, the verdict would have fit the crime.
I realize that, with jeopardy attached, Mr. Zimmerman cannot be retried for the murder or manslaughter of Trayvon Martin.
However, perhaps he could be indicted for the accidental death of another under an Involuntary manslaughter statute. If possible, justice will win the day!
It is my opinion that the prosecution, overcharged and then went on to throw this case in the trash; and Justice for Trayvon Martin went unserved.
I’m fairly sure, had the prosecution asked for the lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter, Judge Nelson would have included it, and the death of a boy would have been vindicated, possibly eliminating this disgraceful scenario from happening again.
Last word: I heard no evidence of any racist animus. Only the eagerness to pull the trigger, by an overzealous, disobedient, man, willing to disregard anything prohibiting him from doing so!
Disobedience: the root cause of our dysfunctional culture today!
Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord, Christ, Jesus (1Peter 1:3).
Langsford Street, Gloucester