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home : opinion : letters to the editor February 6, 2016

7/22/2013 10:08:00 AM
Zimmerman Case

Editor, Times-Union:
I need to take issue with you on a few statements in Saturday’s News Views.
First, your statement of “I understand how people get worked up over these things.” So you have experienced “these things” first hand and understand the pain of losing a son to a senseless act of violence? Or maybe you understand the pain of a not guilty verdict in the death of your son who you believe did nothing wrong? Or maybe you understand what it is like to have African-American children and observe them being watched more closely in a store, etc. for no more reason than the color of their skin? Are these the things you understand?
The one thing I do agree with you on is your statement “so for whatever reason – a reason we will never know, to be sure – a fight breaks out.” But then a few sentences later, you say, “Martin didn’t need to confront Zimmerman either.” How do we know who confronted who? Then you go on to say what we do know ... “that Martin reversed course, circled back, confronted Zimmerman, punched him in the face and got on top of him.” There is no way you can know that is how it happened. That is certainly one of the many possibilities. Your other statement “Martin was more than 6 ft. tall was proven wrong early on as the coroner measurement was 5’11” (it has been reported he was 6’2” in several papers). On the night of the event, Zimmerman was 5’8” and 200 lbs., according to the Stanford police report. 
You actually talk about Facebook postings and texts by Martin, but I did not see that you shared information about Zimmerman being charged with assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest a few years ago, nor did I see where you mentioned a restraining order put on him by a fiance claiming domestic battery. You went on to say that by calling Zimmerman a “cracker” it showed Martin was angry, not afraid. Who wouldn’t be angry about being followed late at night while walking home? Another statement, “If Martin just walks home instead of confronting Zimmerman, no one dies.”
You are putting blame on someone who cannot defend himself. Although the jury found Zimmerman not guilty, that does not mean they know beyond a reasonable doubt the events of the night. According to Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, I can understand how the jury reached their verdict. I can only imagine the deep hurt the parents feel that no one was held accountable. What I cannot understand are the really divisive remarks made by people like Ann Coulter, Ted Nugent, etc. How sad.
If your fondest hope is we all can learn from this, as an editor, you have the power to help or hinder that. My hope is you will be about helping.
Donna Beer
Milford, via e-mail

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