Only George Zimmerman knows what happened

Guest Columnist

John Wallace

John Wallace

Only one person in the world knows what happened to Trayvon Martin. A lot of people think they know, some people say they know they know. These people should offer their services to the police or NSA, or better yet, to TSA. But he had a hoodie on. Well, it was raining. It’s a fact that one reason people cover their heads with hoodies is so it will be harder to ID them. Not all, but some. Maybe wannabes copy that look to be cool. Is that what Trayvon was doing? I don’t know and neither do you.

He had trouble at school. Three suspensions. One for tardiness, one for graffiti and one for a pot pipe. Doesn’t make him a predator.

Did George Zimmerman go out looking for a confrontation to fulfill some hero fantasy he had? He was the only volunteer for the Neighborhood Watch. Appointed himself captain. He had a record for assault of a police officer and one for domestic violence. Doesn’t make him a predator.

Perhaps he was a little overzealous in stepping up and watching out for his neighbors. I don’t know. But I do know that he didn’t need to confront this young man and was told by police to back off, which he did not do. This will probably not bode well for him at trial. But only he knows what really happened.

It’s possible that Trayvon was watching cartoons and decided to go to the store and get some skittles and ice tea. On the way back he noticed this guy following him; everywhere he went this guy was right behind him. So, he cut behind some house where the guy couldn’t drive and the guy got out of his car and followed him. At this point, 17-year-old Trayvon turned around and attacked his 29-year-old pursuer. It’s possible. And then George, fearing for his life, had to defend himself. He had the right to defend himself if he thought his life was threatened. However, the fact remains that at any time he could have stopped following Trayvon and his life would not have been in danger.

I guess the question is: Does he have the right to follow people because he thinks they are suspicious? Sure, I guess. I think most people would have called the police. He did and they told him to stop following the suspect, which he did not do. There does not seem to be any disagreement about that.

Only George knows what happened. They will pick his story apart with a fine-toothed comb and a jury will decide if he is telling the truth.

With all due respect to the victim and the defendant, I think an interesting sidebar will be the defense of “The Castle Doctrine.” I must admit I was one of those who said I knew this was going to happen. If the only criteria are that you fear for your own or someone else’s safety, well it was just a matter of time until something like this happened.

What if you are walking down a dark street and two kids with hoodies approach you and you fear for your life? Is that the criteria? It may turn out that George was right in his perception, but what if it was just a misunderstanding? Now someone is dead. “Oops” doesn’t cut it.

I like the law that says if someone is attempting to enter my home or auto that I have the right to defend myself without worrying that I will get into trouble. I doubt that would be a concern of mine if I feared for my life, but I like the law. I just wonder: If you chase an innocent person for no other reason than that he looks suspicious to you and then he turns to confront you, shouldn’t he be the one fearing for his life? Shouldn’t he be the one defending himself if he had no idea why you are following him with a gun?

But we will see at the trial. This case is tragic enough without any of us thinking that we know what happened. You may be right in your guess but no one except George knows for sure. And he will get his chance to explain.

So hold your outrage until the verdict is in. Hopefully the truth will be revealed.

John Wallace, of Leesburg, works at the post office.