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Tell the Justice Department: Open a Civil Rights Case Against George Zimmerman

Yasha Wallin

The most fundamental of civil rights—the right to life—was violated the night George Zimmerman stalked and then took the life of Trayvon Martin. Now, a jury has acquitted Zimmerman, but that doesn't mean we can't continue to demand justice for Trayvon Martin. Ask that the Department of Justice file civil rights charges against Mr. Zimmerman for this egregious violation. Sign the petition to the Attorney General Eric Holder of Department of Justice today.

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  • Kwami Abdul-Bey

    I see the death of Mr. Martin as a very unfortunate thing. And, the factual circumstances that led to his death are, for me, awful to comprehend. And, I can only imagine just how painful it was for Mr. Martin's parents to see Mr. Zimmerman acquitted.

    For me, the polarized encampments that have been set up as a result of this entire situation is far worse than what actually happened throughout the duration of such. There is so much emotive reacting and very little rational and analytic reflection from either side of the aisle. Both proponents of the avenging of Mr. Martin's death and proponents of the protecting of Mr. Zimmerman's self-defense rights are so focused on their own perceived realities of what may or may not have happened that they have blinders on to the fact that this is a most unfortunate lost-lost scenario no matter how it resolves itself.

    I care not for this petition because it attempts to simply this whole situation incorrectly using legalese as English, creating a false reality.

    Firstly, civil rights are not "fundamental." Civil rights are privileges are are granted by the government to its citizenry for the exercise of such usually through permitted and/or licensed means. Voting is a civil right. Life is a human right, not a civil right. Life is fundamental because it is a right granted by the Creator, not the government. If life were a civil right, then it could be taken by the government at will, as other other civil rights. However, the government cannot just randomly take the right to life.

    Secondly, since this was a state criminal case in Florida, you would have to confirm to the legal definition of stalking before you could theoretically accuse Mr. Zimmerman of "stalking" Mr. Martin. And, reading this petition is the very first time that I have heard such accusation, as I do not recall it being lodged during at any time during the trial and I do not remember Mr. Zimmerman being charged with such crime.

    Thirdly, the thought that it is prudent for a non-party to petition the federal government to intervene in a state criminal case demonstrates a total lack of civics education. Mr. Zimmerman was not a federal agent, nor a state agent, which is the very minimal legal requirement for the federal government to pursue criminal civil rights litigation. Mr. Zimmerman was a private citizen, who, it appears, was overzealous in carrying out his duties as a volunteer neighborhood watchmen.

    I greatly understand the angry and disgust in the emotive reaction to the acquittal. At the same time, I understand how this case should have never been tried in the first place because it was too political from the onset. The governor should have never bowed to the Facebook publicity and fired the county prosecutor and replaced such with a state prosecutor with the instructions to convict. That was an inappropriate miscarriage of justice.

    Then, the prosecution failed miserably in developing a case against Mr. Zimmerman because the evidence that it presented did not support the charges that it waged upon him. And, at least a few of the prosecution witnesses were incredible in their testimony and turned out to be as much of liars as Mr. Zimmerman himself was when he was initially interviewed by the police on scene.

    I am an advocate of Mr. Zimmerman having to accept full responsibility for the very poor choices that he made that night that led to the death of Mr. Martin, who also made some poor choices that night as well. But, I am not willing to further pervert the justice system to exact some herd-mentality, jump-on-the-bandwagon revenge for what shoulda/woulda/coulda happened.

    In my opinion, this case should have never made national news, and it definitely does not deserve the time and expense of a federal criminal civil rights trial.

    Right now, the only logical response is not federal intervention, but rather Mr. Martin's parents immediately filing a wrongful death civil lawsuit against Mr. Zimmerman, as the evidence is very clear that he is, in fact, the cause of Mr. Martin's untimely demise. And, in a civil trial, Mr. Zimmerman will not have the luxury of declining to testify. He will have to get on the stand and explain what happened that night, as he is the only person alive that knows. The hurdle that Mr. Martin's parents will have to overcome is to reduce as much as possible the likelihood of Mr. Martin having equally contributed to his own death by his own actions, which is going to be a very high hurdle based on the evidence presented in the criminal trial.

    It would be a really beautiful thing to see Mr. Zimmerman voluntarily accepting responsibility for his actions and contacting Mr. Martin's parents on his own and attempting to work things out.

  • StemSpecialist

    Why in the hell should we have to tell the Justice dept to move forward on behalf of JUSTICE?
    In my mind it's a NO BRAINER!!!!!

  • mimiplac

    I bet if he was your son you would feel and say otherwise.

  • tolinameless

    Self-defense is NOT applicable when you are the aggressor. Thank you all for signing this petition. Please pass it on to your family and friends and we should have enough signatures by 11am EST. No justice, NO Peace.

  • malk

    I am very upset and completely confounded by the number of people in this country who fail to understand and appreciate the meaning of "self-defense." That's the basis of this case, after all, and the reason George Zimmerman was acquitted. Yes, he was guilty of poor judgement by getting out of his car and **possibly** confronting Trayvon. We don't know for sure if he did indeed confront Trayvon or if Trayvon attacked him first. BECAUSE THERE ISN'T ANY EVIDENCE. When there's no evidence, no conviction can occur. He can't be found guilty of anything, including second degree murder or manslaughter. Yes, it is possible and maybe even probable that George Zimmerman might have been arrested and convicted if he were black and Trayvon was white. But two wrongs do NOT make a right. George Zimmerman had wounds on the back of his head and a broken nose. Where did those come from? Did he injure himself? Did he not have the right to protect himself? Is it possible he wasn't capable of overcoming Trayvon without using his weapon? I don't hear any of these questions being asked, because they are not politically correct. But in my mind, you can't assume George Zimmerman is a racist, which the government will have to prove if the feds file charges, any more than you can assume Trayvon is racist. But oh wait, he did call George Zimmerman a "cracker." Last time I checked, that was a racist term. So who's the racist here? Yes, it is too bad Trayvon is dead, even if he was a racist. He didn't deserve to die, anymore than George Zimmerman deserved to be convicted.

    • Susan Freestone

      I agree. It takes courage to disagree when everyone is jumping on the bandwagon to accuse before checking the facts.

    • Sasha Shepherd

      +1

      Promise you one thing: if George Zimmerman were a licensed Police Officer, this whole story wouldn't have broken out of the Sanford local news and he would be back on the streets within a week.

      The level of group-think and lack of critical, independent thinking this case has manifested in the Left is shocking. OK, not shocking, because it's pretty predictable by now. But it does suck.

      • malk

        I blame the educational system, which is controlled by the left. If you asked your average high school student -- and many, if not most of your college students, what critical thinking is, they would have no idea what you're talking about. Also, the media is at fault I have a degree in journalism but haven't worked in the field for years because of what the media has become.I couldn't stand the "group think" mentality.
        But I am terribly concerned, as I said in the first post, about the tremendous number of people, many of them educated, who don't understand and accept the fundamentals of the case. It doesn't bode well for the future of the country if a majority of the people think that people who are acquitted should be tried twice.

        • Sasha Shepherd

          Double Jeopardy: That part of the game show where all the cash prizes go up and you can win a cool thousand bucks for one question.

  • Connie Rose

    All he had to do was roll down his window, say "Hi" and ask if he needed any help. You'd get a heap of information from the answer. My husband and I have done this often while walking our dog around the college campus. Being an RN for over 50 years gives me lots of answers by how they answer, tone of voice and body language.
    If I thought they were up to "no good", I keep my cell phone handy to call the police. It is not my place to take personal action!

  • David Hawthorne

    This petition is the cornerstone of our justice system! We have a right to petition our government. That was THE founding principal of a democracy, here and everywhere. Just as important the accompanying blog rightly points out that the issue is OUR responsibility to 'protect' our children --not kill them, or jail them for being in our neighborhood. It's their neighborhood too. The laws are supposed to protect us from being abused -but instead, they become an instrument of abuse when fear filled idiots decide they can leverage their animus into law and compel all of us taxpayers, decent citizens, to pay for the ill-considered and ineffective application of cynical laws that permit the fearful to kill the innocent.

    • Sasha Shepherd

      It's not the petitioning itself, but the content of it.

      By your logic, if I 'petitioned the government' to firebomb my neighbor's house, that would be in the spirit of 'the cornerstone of our justice system.'

      No, protection from Double Jeopardy is the cornerstone.

      It is better for 10 guilty men to go free than for one innocent man to rot for life in prison.

  • Maxim Rapoport

    This petition undermines the cornerstones of our justice system...

  • Liz Dwyer

    I signed this last night and hope we see action on this soon.