New Evidence From George Zimmerman Case Says Entire Encounter Was "Ultimately Avoidable"

New evidence from the George Zimmerman case reveals, first and foremost, that police believed the encounter between Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin was “ultimately avoidable,” and would not have happened should Zimmerman have “remained in his vehicle and awaited the arrival of law enforcement.”

"There is no indication that Trayvon Martin was involved in any criminal activity at the time of the encounter," the report said.

The report also indicated that Zimerman shot Martin from very close range -- between a 1 and 18 inches away. It said Martin suffered a quarter-inch by half-inch abrasion on one of his fingers, a sign of possible struggle.  What’s more,  a photo is said to show Zimmerman with a bloody nose, a one-inch laceration on the back of his head, and a forehead abrasion.  

Signs of a struggle, however, do not necessarily provide evidence that Zimmerman shot in self-defense. As the police said, the entire incident -- and Martin’s death -- was avoidable, and would not have happened if it weren’t for Zimerman’s vigilantism.

Still, what has grabbed many headlines is not that police confirmed the needlessness of the encounter, but  an autopsy report revealing that Martin tested positive for marijuana.  Because Martin was not smoking marijuana at the time, or participating in any other criminal behavior that may have led Zimmerman to believe he was “up to no good,” the results are irrelevant: A recent government surveyfound that 25 percent of teenagers used marijuana in the past year alone. Suggesting that marijuana in Martin’s system is relevant to the case therefore  reinforces racial stereotypes that lead black youths to be arrested at rates much higher than whites (who actually use the drug slightly more), and works to irrationally confirm Zimmerman’s racist notion of suspicion, as if because Martin had used marijuana, he were indeed some kind of criminal who deserved to be pursued.

AlterNet / By Kristen Gwynne

Posted at May 18, 2012, 4:39am

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