Letter | Don’t let response to Zimmerman verdict create more animosity

July 16, 2013 

Back when the tragedy of the death of Trayvon Martin took place at the hands of George Zimmerman, Issac Bailey wrote an excellent commentary, which I responded to. In my response, I called for everyone to behave peacefully and allow the judicial system to determine the ultimate results, whatever they may be.

Saturday night, the jury spoke and their verdict was not guilty. That does not mean innocent. I am a retired police officer who in many circumstances during my career had to interpret the law. This jury was sworn with the formidable task of doing just that, “interpret the law.” I believe this jury did exactly as they were required to do, review the case from both sides, listen to the judges instructions on the law and their duty in this regard, and render a decision consistent within these guidelines.

The two facts that are not in dispute are: (1) Trayvon Martin is dead, and (2) George Zimmerman shot and killed him. All the rest is speculation on all of our parts. It is still my hope that everyone will act with restraint and not hurt other people. If we learn anything from this tragedy, let’s learn to respect each other and the system of law we live by.

We don't always have to agree with it, but we do need to respect it. Mr. Bailey points out, and rightfully so, the faults of the system. The prosecution shot for the stars in their zea to get Mr. Zimmerman, and got shot themselves. When they realized they were in trouble they changed the rules at the end to include a lesser charge . This was wrong to be done to anyone. I agree with you in this regard Mr. Bailey, the interpretation of the statutes had to show premeditated malice and intent on Mr. Zimmerman's part, which was almost impossible to do. The media deserves a kick in the butt for sensationalizing, polarizing, and creating an atmosphere where violence is a likely outcome. We don't need this, we are better than this.

Trayvon Martin's death is a tragedy, no doubt. But, give his life and death meaning by changing our attitudes toward one another, by making laws that make sense in real life situations, and putting an end to judicial juggling of charges against people to meet your own goals. This is what we must do to make things right. Once again, Mr. Bailey, I commend you for an insightful commentary on a volatile issue. To all of you who read this, please act respectfully, peacefully, and as our commandments say “Love thy neighbor as thy self.”

Jim Foley

Myrtle Beach

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