The Curious Case of Trayvon Martin Wednesday, Mar 28 2012 

Update:  Florida State Attorney Angela Corey has announced that 2nd degree murder charges have been filed against George Zimmerman for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.  Corey says that charges are not being filed due to public pressure or petition, referring to a petition that garnered over 2 million signatures calling for the arrest of Zimmerman.  The charge of 2nd degree murder can include a sentence of up to life imprisonment.  Regardless of your position on this curious case, there is no doubt the case will be a barnburner.

Watching with great interest, the curious case of Trayvon Martin has become a national phenomenon.  No doubt, the death of any teenager is a heartbreaking tragedy. 

We are being subjected to an incredible amount of ‘spin’ by thousands of individuals, organizations, and the media in an effort to determine the guilt or innocence of George Zimmerman, the self-confessed shooter of Trayvon Martin.

By now, everyone has heard the story. 

George Zimmerman calls 911 to report what he suggests is a suspicious black male walking in his neighborhood.  During his 911 call, he admits to following the black male, to which the operator says “we don’t need you to do that”. 

Stop!

This may be, for me, the only fact that we know for sure.  Memories fade, witnesses have differing accounts, and the victim is not here to tell his part of the story. 

Why did George Zimmerman, after calling 911, get out of his vehicle to follow the ‘suspicious’ black male on foot? 

It seems to be the biggest mistake of Zimmerman’s life. 

What we don’t know is what really happened between the 911 call and what followed.  Screams for help, numerous 911 calls from neighbors hearing a scuffle, a single gunshot, a dead teenager, a police chief steps aside, the Feds get involved, and a surmounting civil rights cry goes out by thousands of individuals protesting that the shooter has not yet been arrested.

It’s been more than a month since the shooting.  People have questions. 

I have a question, or two myself.

Where were all the protesters when other young black males were being murdered on the streets of America? 

Are those protesting aware of the real statistics surrounding murder and race?

According to the FBI Uniform Crime Reports, in 2010 there were 12,996 murder victims in the United States:  6,470 african-american, 6,043 caucasian, 331 ‘other’, and 152 ‘unknown race’. 

Furthermore, the relationship between the victim and the perpetrator is eye-opening.  The FBI Uniform Crime Report’s breakdown of relationships indicates that acquaintances top the list, with family members coming in second, friends, and finally strangers very last. 

Perhaps this is why the FBI Uniform Crime Report’s breakdown indicating the race of the offender vs. the race of the victim indicates that white on white crime and black on black crime is the rule vs. the exception.  Furthermore, male on male crime and female on female crime appears to be prevalent.

By no means, does this diminish the current dilemma of the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. 

It simply begs the question of the level of violence we are currently experiencing across the country, as well as the fact that it is more common for murders to be committed in ‘known’ circles than by offenders who do not know their victims.

It proves the fact that the curious case of Trayvon Martin is an exception to the rule.  Amazing, isn’t it?

You would think, by the media attention and the cries of those who are claiming that this is a prevalent problem (i.e. white on black murders), when in fact it is the exception.

I am dismayed anytime people jump on a bandwagon without all of the facts.  It’s important that we do some extensive research in order to make an informed decision.

It just doesn’t seem right to me when the lines are blurred by those who go off half-cocked making statements they can’t back up with the facts.

The curious case of Trayvon Martin will bring out the best and the worst of people. 

Those who have a personal axe to grind will take the untimely death of this young man and use it for their own personal gain.

A lot of missteps have taken place in the last few weeks. 

Perhaps a more detailed investigation should have taken place from the onset; hopefully that will be done now and law enforcement will do their best to find the truth.

Gun advocates and pessimists may use this opportunity to take a stronger stand for or against the ownership and use of firearms.

More importantly, we must address the issue that has come to the forefront in the curious case of Trayvon Martin:  Ignorance.

Ignorance has reared its ugly head through the actions and words of many.  They have expressed their true self at the expense of Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman.

Spike Lee re-twittered someone’s home address causing an elderly couple to be forced out of their home because they were ‘fingered’ as the parents of George Zimmerman.  They were not the parents of ‘the’ George Zimmerman who pulled the trigger.

I suppose Spike Lee should take a dose of his own medicine and learn how to ‘Do the Right Thing’.  Perhaps we all should? 

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

To Investigate Or Not To Investigate, That Is The Question? Thursday, Mar 8 2012 

 

 

 

Investigations are required in order to solve the mystery of a crime – or potential crime.  To investigate is to do so by taking all leads and fully examining information presented with care and accuracy. 

As I continue to follow the storyline of alleged malfeasance in office possibly committed by Mayor-President Kip Holden, I have questions regarding how far the investigation has advanced thus far. 

Someone may need to help me interpret what is being reported, taking in to consideration the fact that the public is not always privy to the details of investigations. 

After all, the facts as presented to us are confusing at best. 

It was just a few years ago that we recall a flyer mailed to a select number of residents of East Baton Rouge Parish describing an alleged affair between Mayor Kip Holden and a woman (other than his wife). 

The flyer brought on accusations by an unnamed source at the time against Mayor Kip Holden.  Once made public via the newspaper, the Mayor began making counter-accusations by naming numerous individuals that he felt were responsible for the flyer. 

One by one, the Mayor (in an attempt to get the focus off of him) marched individual’s names before the media as the supposed source of the flyers that alleged he had an extramarital affair.  It caused quite a stir in the media, followed by the hiring of an attorney and investigator who proceeded to jump on the bandwagon of accusations.

I am always fascinated when someone is targeted by another party, especially when the response is a counter-accusation.  It reminds me of being on the playground as a child when the focus is now on the messenger vs. the alleged guilty party.  Sometimes ‘shooting the messenger’ works, and suddenly they are the bad guy vs. the individual who performed the dastardly deed.

For awhile, it seemed that Mayor Holden was successful in the public’s eye by attacking the sources of the flyer vs. the actual content of the flyer. 

After much ado, the creator and the distributor of the flyers were named publicly and the Mayor promised to sue them both for defamation of character.  Successfully, the Mayor got the attention off of the content of the flyer and on to the individuals responsible for sharing the information. 

This must have made the Mayor and his entourage very happy?

Unfortunately, nothing really happened.  The rumors died down, the creator and distributor were basically forgotten and all seemed as if nothing ever happened, with the exception of the whispers among those questioning the validity of the information contained in the flyer. 

Believe it or not, there are many people who really do believe that a betrayal of a marriage shows the true character of a person.

Fast forward to 2012.  Lawsuits begin flying back and forth about possible defamation of character and personal attacks that may or may not have validity.  A court date is set and we all watch with various degrees of interest.

Then, while we are all caught unaware, public records laws reveal that another party is asking for a full investigation into activities surrounding the prior accusations.  The ex-boyfriend of the woman who Mayor Holden supposedly had an affair with reveals that the woman shared with him confidentially that she received trips, gifts and cash from the Mayor that she believed to be from the city coffers. 

The plot thickens.

Now hold on!  Just when you think that a full investigation might take place to find out if the accusations are true, it appears that the investigation is thwarted because a Judge, a Sheriff, and God knows who else, claim that the former boyfriend’s story is considered “here say”.

Whoa!  Hold on!  This is where I may need some assistance. 

Let me get this right.  If I call or write a judge or law enforcement officer and tell them I know of someone committing what I believe to be a crime because ‘someone else’ told me that ‘John Doe’ is spending thousands of dollars on them that they believe came from the commission of a crime (and taking money from city coffers for use other than it was intended is considered a crime), will they just dismiss me because this is here say?

Let’s up the ante.  I talk to someone’s parent who tells me their child committed a murder, but since they believe it is self-defense, they are not going to tell anyone.  If I call with that information, am I dismissed because this is considered here say?

Well, I know the answer to that question.  Any law enforcement officer worth his salt will look into this alleged murder and will not dismiss my call as here say. 

So, why is the information from the ex-boyfriend considered here say?  Just because you are a jilted lover does not make every piece of information you share not worth fully investigating.

Maybe an investigation is still ongoing?  Let’s hope so. 

Thus, the topic of this piece. 

Hamlet asked “To be or not to be, that is the question?” 

I ask “To investigate or not to investigate, that is the question?”

In the age we live in, I say that you fully investigate possible wrongdoing.  We have watched Mayors in surrounding communities falling like flies because they chose to line their own pocketbooks vs. the pocketbooks of the taxpayers. 

Why should these accusations warrant any less attention? 

To dismiss information without carefully and fully questioning all those potentially involved in the potential commission of a crime would prove to me that the system is functioning even worst than I believe it to be.

As an officer of the law, you should not ‘pick and choose’ who you investigate and who you do not investigate regardless of their stature. 

Unfortunately, many of us already know this is a problem that needs to be thrown into the public eye for consideration when viewing the inadequacies of the legal and judicial system as it exists today.

We are watching and waiting to see if investigators will fully investigate charges that Mayor Kip Holden spent thousands of dollars of taxpayer money on a woman — or anyone else for that matter.

As an elected official, you have a duty to uphold the responsibilities of the office which you are entrusted by the people.  If, for any reason, you fail to be responsible with your time, taxpayer money or resources, you have failed to fulfill the duties of your office — and committed a crime referred to as malfeasance in office. 

In ending, one last burning question exists in my mind. 

What if the elected official entrusted to perform the investigation has some of his own skeletons, and the individual who he is charged to investigate knows those details?

I long for the days when I could say ‘ignorance is bliss’!

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican