Medical records only now released to the media indicate that George Zimmerman had a broken nose, two black eyes and cuts on his scalp the day after police say he fatally shot teenager Trayvon Martin.
Zimmerman, 28, faces a second-degree murder charge.
I’m already seeing Facebook posts about these new details and it’s interesting to see how public opinion is either changing or how those who’ve previously been on the more quiet side of the public debate are now beginning to increase their volume.
One acquaintance of mine from grade school used the story in an attempt to prove that this clearly wasn’t a case of racism.
That would be a logic flaw, of course, because we don’t know if race might have been the motivation that made Zimmerman follow the teen to begin with. What we do know is that when asked what the teen’s race was by a 911 operator, Zimmerman responded that the teen “looked black.”
And he’d reportedly called police several times before to report “suspicious” people, all of whom were black.
But the double standard is glaring: if circumstantial evidence isn’t sufficient to argue racism, more of it shouldn’t be sufficient to rule out that possibility, either.
The fact that he had what now appears to have been significant injuries consistent with a fight does not remove racism from the picture. Race may well have played no part in the situation whatsoever. That is an absolutely valid possibility. But this particular evidence isn’t proof either way.
Zimmerman told police he shot the 17-year-old in self-defense after the teen jumped him; Zimmerman, a self-appointed neighborhood watch captain, had been tracking Martin’s movements through a gated community after calling 911 to report the teen’s behavior as suspicious.
The Miami Herald reported last week that if Zimmerman’s defense can demonstrate that he was in “reasonable fear for his life,” the judge in the case may dismiss the case before it ever reaches a jury.
My guess is that even if a jury gets to decide, either way, people won’t accept their judgment.