The jury has spoken, and George Zimmerman is now a free man:
SANFORD — After five weeks of trial and 56 witnesses, few legal observers believed prosecutors came close to proving Sanford neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman committed second-degree murder when he shot and killed Trayvon Martin in February 2012.
So for many legal analysts, it was no surprise that jurors rejected even a lesser “compromise” verdict of manslaughter, acquitting Zimmerman outright of all criminal charges and deciding he acted in a reasonable way to protect his own life.
The acquittal was a stinging blow for prosecutors and their decision to file the second-degree murder charge against Zimmerman, who was not initially arrested by Sanford police after claiming self-defense.
As I said before closing arguments, when all the conjecture and emotion are stripped away, objective observers know that there was plenty of reasonable doubt in this case, given that the state decided to pursue second-degree murder charges against Mr. Zimmerman. Unfortunately, there is an ever-growing population of people out there who would never know that reasonable doubt existed. They are the the kind of people who can make “replace a word in a movie with ‘tampon'”, “no justice”, and “if I ever see Zimmerman” trend on Twitter simultaneously.
How ironic is it that people who complain about not having justice are also the first individuals to promote a hashtag on Twitter that foments vigilantism? What sort of movement has thought leaders who leap from from “Life if like a box of tampons” jokes one minute to threats on a man’s life who was just found innocent in a court of law by a jury of his peers?
How sad is it that even though black-on-black crime dwarfs “overzealous-Hispanic-neighborhood-watch-guy-on-black violence,” that men of the Al Sharpton mindset used ungodly amounts of time and energy to a.) turn Zimmerman into a white guy in the minds of millions of viewers and b.) parlay an artificially-constructed dynamic into a definitive statement on where the country is in terms of race relations?
How frustrating is it that our intellectual discourse is in many ways dictated by anonymous Twitter users whose first response in the wake of a trial of this magnitude is to post Madea-Skittles murder memes?
The death of Trayvon Martin was a tragedy for all parties involved, but the hard lessons we must learn as a nation will not sink in while immature over-emotional internet tough guys have control of the wheel via social media platforms and race-baiters like Al “The Reverend” Sharpton are given huge megaphones on respected news outlets.
Now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to scroll through the “replace a word in a movie with ‘tampon'” Twitter feed until I come across “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Tampon” — at which point I will weep for the nation.