The name George Zimmerman is sending aftershocks across the state of Florida and the nation.
Since his acquittal on all charges stemming from the self defense shooting of Martin many actions and counter actions are anticipated. Among them: the lawsuit against NBC for “yellow journalism” and calls to investigate Florida State Attorney Angela Corey‘s misleading affidavit of probable cause, which had not disclosed significant exculpatory details.
Both are interrelated and deal with telling the truth.
In the first instance NBC employees (recently fired) selectively edited the 911 call that aired.
The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple reports Zimmerman attorney James Beasley stated that he and his team were eager to resume the [NBC] suit, which had been put on hold due to the beginning of the criminal trial. With that out of the way, they now intend to proceed. “We’re going to start in earnest asap, we just have to get the stay lifted which is a ministerial act,” Beasley said via email. Beasley did acknowledge that while Zimmerman’s victory in his criminal trial could be helpful to this civil suit, it was not a guarantee that he would win his defamation case.
To understand NBC’s alleged “yellow journalism” perhaps the following quotes from from a former Monitor/NBC Radio reporter are useful. The comments were sent to WDW – FL by Don Blair, former Monitor/NBC Radio news commentator and Florida resident. Blair’s last broadcast for Monitor/NBC Radio was in 1989. Blair was responding to a column posted by WDW – FL and wrote in a series of exchanges referring to Zimmerman: “Probably that a cold blooded murderer has been set free.” … “Is he immune from a drive-by shooting? I don’t think this man can look forward to a long…or longer life from here on out. I will drink to his death…hopefully a painful one.” … “I’ll say it again. I will drink a toast the day that miserable bastard is gunned down.” Similar comments were made by others on social media sites. One of the defense attorneys referred to the media as “mad scientists“. Some in the media “cry foul” on the verdict.
While Blair’s comments do not reflect on the current management or employees of NBC or its affiliates, there is a lesson to be gotten from his mind set regarding the Zimmerman case.
The second issue are calls for an investigation of State Attorney Angela Corey for the misleading affidavit which lead to charge of second degree murder against Zimmerman.
Multiple emails to WDW – FL state, “Please write to Governor Scott and request that he immediately order a full and comprehensive investigation into the actions of State Attorney Angela Corey during the entire George Zimmerman arrest and trial.”
William A. Jacobson from Legal Insurrection reports:
In early April 2012, Florida State Attorney Angela Corey decided not to take the George Zimmerman case to a Grand Jury, opting for the filing of a Criminal Information which then was presented along with an Affidavit of Probable Cause. The Court found probable cause for the charges.
It turned out, once pre-trial discovery was exchanged, that the affidavit upon which probable cause was found had not disclosed a lot of significant exculpatory details. There was no mention of the significant injuries to Zimmerman, or of John Good’s eyewitness account that Martin was on top of Zimmerman hitting him Mixed Martial Arts style. All the Affidavit said on the subject of the physical confrontation was that there was “a struggle.”
Eliott C. McLaughlin from CNN reports:
The George Zimmerman investigation was hijacked “in a number of ways” by outside forces, said the former police chief of Sanford, Florida.
Bill Lee, who testified Monday in Zimmerman’s second-degree murder trial, told CNN’s George Howell in an exclusive interview that he felt pressure from city officials to arrest Zimmerman to placate the public rather than as a matter of justice.
“It was (relayed) to me that they just wanted an arrest. They didn’t care if it got dismissed later,” he said. “You don’t do that.”
The shock waves from the Zimmerman acquittal are just now being felt. Stay tuned, it will be a bumpy ride.
RELATED VIDEO: Prosecutors address the media after the verdict. Corey states Zimmerman “profiled” Trayvon Martin. Listen carefully to the media questions and statements by Corey.