I admit it. I love Bonnie Raitt, she of the slide guitar and flaming red hair. Last summer we saw her at the Pavillion on the Historic Downtown Mall. Her voice is just as good, if not better and her lyrics always hit the right heart string. I’ll share with you the song that’s been stuck in my head all morning.
And the reason I’ve been humming “Have a heart please, why don’t you have a heart…” is because I caught a snippet of the interview my guy Anderson Cooper is broadcasting tonight on CNN with the first juror to talk about George Zimmerman. I’ve been telling Bob all weekend that the judge didn’t answer the jury’s question about manslaughter, that’s why they voted to acquit. Judge Debra Nelson asked them for specific questions, but the jury never followed up on the manslaughter questions with specifics. This juror, who prefers to remain in the shadows, said that they found the evidence and the legal charges “confusing.” Now this Judge is questioning whether the charges should have been filed at all.
And we find out that the first vote in the jury room had 3 jurors in the manslaughter slot. A verdict of manslaughter, which I think was probably the right call if all the facts had been presented (like Zimmerman’s pattern of calling the police about “suspicious” looking black men more than 40 times in the past year). The murder charge was overreaching maybe, since that presumes Zimmerman intended to kill – he set off that evening with a loaded gun hunting young black men. A manslaughter conviction would have meant that he didn’t intend to kill Trayvon…this actually seems to have been the more likely scenario. I think he wanted to stop him, but I realize I don’t really know.
Let’s think about this, in Florida if someone looks “suspicious” you can hunt them down and kill them if THEY stand their ground and try to fight back! Is suspicious a gay kid, is it a Latino or a mentally disabled homeless person? What about a woman in a short skirt, hanging out on a street corner? I’ve had 2 separate instances recently when I thought someone looked “suspicious” – they were white guys in a pickup truck, both times they had parked under a tree in the shade, in the middle of the day where they could watch kids at a 1)park and 2)sports club but were looking at maps or a newspaper when they saw me approach my car. In both instances I was close enough for them to say something to me like, “Hey.” I thought about calling the police BUT they were not committing a crime. I did jot down a license plate number! Check out this video from Howard University: http://boingboing.net/2013/07/15/howard-university-students-v.html#.UeRx1MJ-hgI.facebook Do they look suspicious?
Back to The Anonymous Juror, and what got me humming. She said she didn’t think that killing was what was in Zimmerman’s heart; That his heart was “…in the right place.”
” JUROR: I think George Zimmerman is a man whose heart was in the right place, but just got displaced by the vandalism in the neighborhoods, and wanting to catch these people so badly, that he went above and beyond what he really should have done. But I think his heart was in the right place. It just went terribly wrong.” http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/07/15/3502047_p3/zimmerman-juror-speaks-out-transcript.html#storylink=cpy
In other words, she gave this murderer a pass because she didn’t think he intended to kill Trayvon – which is like saying he’s guilty of manslaughter since he actually DID kill him! In my mind, once Zimmerman disobeyed the police and got out of his car, he set into motion the tragedy that unfolded. Is there a sliver lining? Will gun laws and stand your ground laws be reformed? After Newtown, I’m not hopeful. Let the jurors begin the talk show rounds, it will only get curiouser and curiouser. Because they presume Zimmerman has a heart, and just from watching his affect in court, and listening to his 911 call, I wonder.