Trayvon Martin Case: Prosecutorial Misconduct and Police Cover-up?

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[Speaking Truth To Power]

This week, a lawyer for George Zimmerman said his client was ready to turn himself in for the February 26 killing of Trayvon Martin—if charged by law enforcement officials.

On Monday, attorney Craig Sonner told Reuters that 28-year-old George
Zimmerman would surrender to police if he was charged in the killing of
17-yar-old Trayvon Martin. "If he's charged, he will be arrested and he will turn himself in,"
Craig Sonner, the attorney, told Reuters of 28-year-old George
Zimmerman. "However it goes, he's not hiding from the authorities. If he
is asked, he will turn himself in. There's not going to be a manhunt or
anything like that."

However, a new question we must ask is: did State Attorney Norm Wolfinger tamper with the Sanford Police Department’s investigation and encourage them to engage in a cover-up because of the influence of George Zimmerman’s father who is a retired magistrate?

Zimmerman, who has been in hiding, killed Trayvon Martin on the night of February 26, after Martin was returning from a local convenience store. Martin, who had been visiting his father at a gated community in Sanford, died within a short distance of his father’s girlfriend house. A bag of Skittles and a soda were found next to the dead teen’s body.

The killing of Martin has sparked a national outcry into the case and many are now reexamining the controversial, NRA underwritten “Stand Your Ground” laws and conservative groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

The curious actions of State Attorney Norm Wolfinger are also coming under serious scrutiny. Reportedly, Wofinger rejected the lead investigator’s recommendation to charge Zimmerman in the killing of Martin. Wolfinger oversees prosecutions in Seminole County. The city of Sanford is the county seat of Seminole County.

Martin’s parents have sent a formal request to the Justice Department to look into the possibility that Wolfinger interfered with the Sanford Police Department’s investigation. According to the letter, Wolfinger and Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee overruled lead homicide investigator Chris Serino’s finding that Zimmerman should be charged with manslaughter. In fact, Florida Governor Rick Scott replaced Wolfinger and tapped another State Attorney Angela Corey—who is now heading the ongoing state investigation into the death of Trayvon Martin.

The letter—addressed to Deputy Assistant Attorney General Roy Austin of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division—reads in part: “we have obtained new information which is of paramount importance in considering whether or not a fair and impartial investigation was conducted by the Sanford Police Department. In particular, we learned that on the night of February 26, 2012, within hours of the shooting in which Trayvon Martin was killed, Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee met with State Attorney Norm Wolfinger. We also believe that family members of shooter George Zimmerman were present at the police department.

It was further revealed that State Attorney General Norm Wolfinger and Chief Bill Lee overruled the recommendation of the lead homicide investigator, Chris Serino, who recommended that George Michael Zimmerman be arrested for manslaughter for killing Trayvon Benjamin Martin. More poignantly, Mr. Serino filed an affidavit stating the he did not find Zimmerman’s statements credible in light of the circumstances and facts surrounding the shooting. Therefore, we respectfully request that the United States Department of Justice investigate the circumstances surrounding this meeting between Chief Bill Lee and State Attorney Norm Wolfinger, in which they disregard the lead investigator’s recommendation to arrest George Zimmerman for manslaughter. We look forward to your thorough and comprehensive review of the suspicious circumstances surrounding this meeting.”

Wolfinger has denied the allegations saying he was "outraged by the outright lies contained in the letter..." and said he "encourages the Justice Department to investigate and document that no such meeting or communication occurred. I have been encouraging those spreading the irresponsible rhetoric to stop and allow State Attorney Angela Corey to complete her work," Wolfinger said. "Another falsehood distributed to the media does nothing to forward that process."

Just what is the truth here regarding why this killer of Martin wasn’t arrested? Indeed, why was the advice of lead detective Serino ignored? What information, or, knowledge did State Attorney Wolfinger weigh in making this curious decision? Something here smells really foul.

Question: did George Zimmerman’s father use his influence—as a retired court magistrate—to extricate his son from being arrested for Trayvon’s murder?

We now know George Zimmerman has been arrested, and faced legal jeopardy, for assaults before. In 2005, he was charged with “battery of law enforcement officer” and “resisting officer with violence.”  In that case, he insisted an officer attacked him first; the charges were eventually reduced to resisting arrest without violence. Then, the charges were dropped—totally.

In that same year, his ex-fiance, Veronica Zuazo, file a restraining against him for domestic violence. Zimmerman then filed for restraining order claiming Zuazo was the one who assaulted him. Moreover, The New York Daily News has reported that Zimmerman was also fired from a security job for “being too aggressive”—and throwing a drunk woman across a room at a party.

A picture is emerging here, and, it’s not of a conscientious citizen who cares about crime. The evidence is starting to tell us George Zimmerman is nothing more than a bigoted bully from an influential family. Zimmerman’s father in a Fox News interview choose to attack President Obama and groups like the NAACP—instead of taking responsibility for the actions of his son. What's more how does this race-slanting square with the fact that several thousands of White folk have also been protesting the killing?

The senior Zimmerman was a judge. Judges frequently lecture young African Americans—who face them daily in the legal process— about taking responsibility for their actions. Isn’t it ironic the perpetrator of Zimmerman, who has had encounters with the law and has now killed an unarmed young man comes from a family with roots in the so-called justice system that destroys the lives of legions of African-American males daily?

By what we now know, every brush George Zimmerman has had with the law must be thoroughly investigated—especially, by the Justice Department to see if he received preferential treatment because of his father’s status as a retired magistrate. Isn’t it possible that if George Zimmerman was punished properly for his past criminality Trayvon Martin would still be living today?

Professor Howard Jordan, of Hostos College,—who is also the host of the Jordan Journal on WBAI 99.5 in New York—held a press conference this week with other Latino activists and students denouncing the injustice in the Trayvon Martin case. Jordan also attacked the malicious attempt by conservatives to create friction between the African-American community and the Latino community because of the fact that George Zimmerman is a White Latino.

"Speaking Truth To Empower."

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