I’m not sure it’s a good idea to put your client on television when he’s facing criminal charges resulting from shooting an unarmed teenager. Whether it is or not, George Zimmerman’s lawyer sat down with his client and Sean Hannity (who, rumour has it, offered to foot the defense bill) for an interview. As might be expected, it was merely another opportunity for Zimmerman to get his version of the events out to any potential jurors without having to suffer cross examination, and it could not have been more shameful.
“Is there anything that you regret? Do you regret getting out of the car to follow Trayvon that night?” Hannity asked. “Do you regret that you had a gun that night?”
“No, sir,” Zimmerman, 28, replied. “I feel that it was all God’s plan and not for me to second-guess it or judge it.”
God’s plan. GOD wanted George to have a gun; to go out to investigate why there was a black kid in the neighborhood; to follow that child despite the police telling him not to; to get out of his car to pursue the unarmed teenager. God wanted George Zimmerman to arm himself and create a confrontation. God wanted George Zimmerman to stand his ground. Zimmerman is, however, correct on one point: it is not for Zimmerman to judge whether his actions were right or wrong. That will fall to a jury.
There’s a good reason why wise counsel advises a client to keep their mouth shut – not to talk to the police, or reporters, or anyone else. Whatever a defendant says to the police, they’re stuck with. If they later say something else, either to the press or at trial, it damages their credibility. “Were you lying then or are you lying now?”
Interestingly enough, Zimmerman has already contradicted himself. On the phone with the police he said Trayvon Martin ran from him. To Hannity he said Martin DIDN’T run, but rather something more like “skipped away.” That would seem an odd detail to recall later.
And there’s more. Zimmerman contends that before “skipping away” Martin approached George’s car. Zimmerman claims Martin was reaching into his waistband – trying to intimidate him. Martin then, according to George, skips off.
George gets out of his car to, he claims, try to locate a particular address. Zimmerman denies getting out of his car to chase Martin.
This alternative explanation for getting out of the car is bullshit so rank I can smell it from Formosa. Rather obviously, Zimmerman cannot say that he left his vehicle to pursue the victim – that would make his “Stand your ground” defense rather shaky – so what’s he doing out of the car? Having armed himself and gone out to investigate this suspicious character – someone who just approached him, tried to intimidate him and has now “skipped” off into the night, Zimmerman gets out of his car to “locate an address.” Of course you did, George. Makes perfect sense.
While George is apparently checking house numbers, Martin returns and attacks.
Having approached and then left, the smaller, unarmed teenager (who was, let’s recall, returning from the store with a package of Skittles!) returns to attack a larger, armed man who is simply looking for an address. It just rings true, eh?
Hannity asks Zimmerman if Trayvon Martin might have thought he was being pursued. Zimmerman replies, “I wrestled with that for a long time, but one of my biggest issues through this ordeal has been the media, conjecture, and I can’t assume or make believe.”
But George’s inability to assume or make believe doesn’t stop him from assuming that Trayvon “noticed the gun in my waistband”; assuming that Martin would go for the gun, or assuming that he had no option but to shoot the boy in the chest.
Hannity wraps it up by inviting Zimmerman to look into the camera and speak to Martin’s family:
“I do wish that there was something, anything that I could have done that wouldn’t have put me in the position where I had to take his life.”
You could have stayed in your house. You could have stayed in your car. You could have waited for the police. And if there’s justice in the state of Florida, you’ll have a very long time to wish you had.