My child was walking to get Skittles; that’s a fact. Zimmerman has no defense, and O’Mara … is relying on lies and the power of suggestion. My son was a good kid. Deep down in my heart, I believe justice will be done.
Benjamin Crump: What’s important to keep in mind, from a legal perspective, is whether or not George Zimmerman acted with a depraved mind. It is fully established that Zimmerman has a past that includes an arrest for “resisting an officer with violence,” and his former girlfriend sought a restraining order against him for domestic abuse. That order was granted by a judge who clearly had enough evidence to justify the order.
What isn’t relevant to this second-degree-murder trial is the teenage victim’s alleged dalliance with marijuana. In fact, that narrative has been constructed by Mark O’Mara as a red herring to deflect from the fact that Zimmerman was taking various prescription drugs that are known to have violent side effects. At the time he shot and killed Trayvon, Zimmerman was on Temazepam and Adderall — drugs that cause insomnia, anxiety, aggressive behavior and hallucinations.
And because Sanford police failed to do a toxicology report on his blood-alcohol level, it’s quite possible Zimmerman may have mixed those drugs with alcohol — and thereby exacerbated the effects of the prescription drugs. These are the cold, hard facts that O’Mara doesn’t want to talk about and he’s afraid for the public to know.
TR: Are there broader legal implications to the case that aren’t being discussed?
BC: Yes, absolutely. And it’s troubling. The larger issue is the precedent that a potential acquittal of George Zimmerman would set. It would show how far this country still has to go with respect to offering equal protection under the law regardless of race. If Zimmerman gets off, it will tell other deranged minds and trigger-happy police officers that they can kill black and brown boys with impunity.
It is very clear from this case — and American history in general — that if it had been a black man who had tracked and killed a white child, no defense would be sufficient. That man would be in jail and likely facing the death penalty. George Zimmerman is every parent’s worst nightmare. A self-proclaimed vigilante, on prescription drugs, taunting and tracking a child in the dark.
TR: Where does Zimmerman’s “Stand your ground” defense place things legally?
BC: Well, let me first say that “Stand your ground” was intended to protect victims like Trayvon — not predators like George Zimmerman. Mark O’Mara realizes that and so decided to forgo the “Stand your ground” pretrial hearing. This was a surreptitious move. Why? Because “Stand your ground” requires Zimmerman to take the stand, whereas “self-defense” does not.
O’Mara knows that once Zimmerman is forced to speak, his inconsistencies and mendaciousness will be revealed for all to see. And Zimmerman certainly wouldn’t survive a cross-examination. Prosecutors would destroy him. What remains to be seen is whether black mothers and fathers, especially in the South, can receive justice in a court of law. Emmett Till’s mother didn’t, but I believe Sybrina and Tracy will.
Edward Wyckoff Williams is a contributing editor at The Root. He is a columnist and political analyst, appearing on Al-Jazeera, MSNBC, ABC, CBS Washington, Arise America and national syndicated radio. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.