Above and Beyond

When I was still employed, one of my tasks was to write “good news” stories, best practice stories of employees, agents and their team members going beyond their normal duties to help a customer, or another employee.  But usually a customer.

A female juror from the Trayvon Martin trial who agreed to be interviewed said that she absolutely believed there was nothing racial about the incident, that George Zimmerman was only defending himself, that Martin definitely threw the first punch.  But that George was at fault for going “above and beyond” his duties in pursuing someone he suspected to be a burglar.

Police departments across the country feel the same way.  They refuse to respond to burglaries in progress.  The crime isn’t worth their time or the accompanying trouble over racial identities if they apprehend the burglars and bring them to justice.  Let the insurance companies handle it.

Much easier.  Less problematic politically.  But definitely feckless above and beyond the call of duty.

What part didn’t this juror and the others get?  That Martin was suspended (are you listening, Media?) not twice but three times.  Once for graffiti and as it turns out, being in possession of stolen property and a burglary weapon, once for tardiness, and once for possession of drug apparatus (a marijuana pipe) and a plastic bag with traces of marijuana in it.

That’s three strikes.  The third strike got him expelled from the Miami-Dade school system (he lived in Miami Gardens).  He was sent to live with this father’s girlfriend in the Retreat at Twin Lakes section of Sanford, Fla., an exclusive, gated community.

His cell phone was filled with pictures of a prize-winning marijuana plant, guns, and pornography.  The text-message of one of his friends indicates thuggery; the implication of one text was that he assaulted a bus driver.  The friend noted that he was turning into junior thugster.

The police reports indicate that what made Zimmerman suspicious, as he followed Martin, was that Martin was looking into the windows of parked cars.  An autopsy revealed traces of marijuana in Martin’s blood.

Still, we’re expected to believe that these were all just “juvenile indiscretions.”  Martin was 17, not 13 or 15.  His parents are still looking for justice and accountability, if not from the municipal and state government, then from the federal government.  They want Zimmerman to pay for his “crime.”  They want someone to be held accountable and Zimmerman makes the easiest target.

If they want to blame someone, they can begin with themselves.  Then they can work their way up to the friends he hung out with (and even they apparently thought their friend was going a little too far in slugging a bus driver?  Or was that the bus driver’s fault, too?).  They might ask their school system questions.  They should definitely ask questions of the Sanford Police Department.

No, wait; they did that and the police chief who told them there was no evidence of a crime, that it seemed to be self-defense, and that their son was the aggressor.  For that piece of truth, the police chief was forced to resign.  Now the jurors are going on television, doubtless in fear of their lives, whimpering the cameras that, well, you know, it could be Zimmerman went over the line in his zeal to protect his community.

Zimmerman, it turns out, had good instincts, given Martin’s record.  He showed what most people don’t; guts.  But to contradict the juror’s statement, Zimmerman, in fact, did know when to walk away.  Neighborhood Crime Watch groups formed when the police decided burglars weren’t worth their time to pursue, especially if their skin was a certain color.

Zimmerman and his parents must now go into hiding.  So must the jurors.  The judge played her cards right, so she’s in no great danger.  As for Twin Lakes, it remains to be seen whether the community’s crime rate will suddenly drop, or continue, now that the sheriff has been forced to leave town.

As for Trayvon Martin, it’s tragic that he’s dead.  Shakespeare said it best:  “The fault lies not in the stars but in ourselves.”

By the way, we are not all Trayvon Martin.  All black people are not Trayvon Martin.  Thank God.




Published in: on July 16, 2013 at 9:12 am  Leave a Comment  

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