It appears that the last door to criminal prosecution of George Zimmerman for the killing of Trayvon Martin was closed yesterday:
The Justice Department said Tuesday its independent investigation found "insufficient evidence" to charge George Zimmerman with federal civil rights violations in the shooting death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin.
Attorney General Eric Holder said the evidence did not meet the "high standard for a federal hate crime prosecution," but the decision should not end efforts to explore racial tensions in the justice system. The decision closes the federal investigation.
It's a predictable end to a story that never should have been about race in the first place. When Martin's family hired Benjamin Crump, who in turn hired a publicist, who immediately spun a half-true narrative out to the news media, a digital lynch mob was formed that had everything to do with racial grievances and revenge and little time for actual justice. It just so happened to also dovetail nicely with Barack Obama's 2012 campaign strategy of dividing America.
It was also another disgusting frenzy of unprofessional behavior from a news media that everyone can see values narrative and sensationalism over facts and truth. ABC News with their debunked "Zimmerman uninjured video." NBC News with their shameful editing of the 911 call. Countless news media sites that continued to propagate the falsehood that the 911 dispatcher told Zimmerman not to follow Martin long after the transcript and tape made it clear that was not the case.
And then there's us. As an untrustworthy news media spewed fact and fiction alike with abandon, many Americans decided "what the hell" and dug into whatever reality matched their tribal perspective. So deeply are they entrenched that even today the established facts cannot penetrate their narrative. I saw a lot of that yesterday from all sides in various posts and comments.
The irony is that the race angle is probably what let Zimmerman off the hook. Under severe pressure, the DA overcharged Zimmerman with 2nd degree murder, a charge that was obviously unsupported by the facts. I can't prove it, but it's my belief that a lesser charge, presented without the racial angle, would have had a good chance of seeing Zimmerman convicted. I could see myself as a juror voting to convict on a lesser charge.
Martin's death could have at least some meaning if a larger lesson could be drawn from it, but even that has been obscured by the racial animus and the media circus. The lesson is this:
"Walk away. Let it go. It's not worth dying over."
The trial record makes it clear that both Zimmerman and Martin had a chance to back off, to avoid the fatal confrontation. Strip away the race angle and this case is a powerful lesson for everybody in how stupid stuff can suddenly spin horribly out of control.
It will go unheeded by most.