The Associated Press reports, “Prosecutors in Florida can argue in opening statements that George Zimmerman profiled Trayvon Martin based on factors such as age or clothing before he shot the unarmed black teenager, but they cannot say he was profiled based on race, a judge ruled Friday.”
Circuit Court Judge Debra Nelson made the ruling ahead of Monday’s expected opening statements in Zimmerman’s second-degree murder trial.
Defense attorneys had asked the judge to prohibit prosecutors from using a series of words in opening statements that they deemed inflammatory. Those words included “profiled,” “vigilante,” “wannabe cop,” and that Zimmerman had confronted Martin. Zimmerman is Hispanic.
Many believe the only reason Zimmerman is being tried today is because Martin is black.
President Obama set the tone when he stated, “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon. I think [Trayvon’s parents] are right to expect that all of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves, and we are going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.
This led to demonstrations and accusations of “racial profiling”. Martin was visiting Sanford, FL while serving a 10-day suspension from Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School in north Miami. His parents are divorced but both still live in Miami where his mother is a county housing agency employee and his father is a truck driver.
Martin had pictures of guns, a video of a fist fight and photos of him smoking marijuana on his cell phone according to the defense team. On the night of the shooting, Zimmerman was driving through his community running errands when he saw a young man on the property whom he thought looked suspicious. He called the Sanford Police Department. He said “This guy looks like he’s up to no good, or is on drugs or something. It is raining and he is just walking around and looking at all of the houses.”
I reported on May 20, 2013:
President Obama talked about “racism” at Morehouse College this weekend. The timing is interesting because the trial of George Zimmerman, the man who shot Trayvon Martin in February 2012, will begin in June. Zimmerman is Hispanic and Martin was black.
President Obama stated at Morehouse, “We know that too many young men in our community continue to make bad choices. Growing up, I made quite a few myself. Sometimes I wrote off my own failings as just another example of the world trying to keep a black man down. I had a tendency sometimes to make excuses for me not doing the right thing. But one of the things that all of you have learned over the last four years, is there’s no longer any room for excuses.”
I stated in an earlier column, “Since February 26, 2012, when Trayvon Martin was killed by a single gunshot fired by George Zimmerman, it seems that the tragic shooting has been turned into a racial profiling incident by our news media. ”
As this trial progresses many are asking if Zimmerman will get a fair trial or will he become the victim of a racially charged agenda led in part by President Obama.