George Zimmerman, the man who shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, is unsurprisingly in the news again. It seems he just can’t get his act together. This time he’s accused of throwing a wine bottle at his girlfriend – who has described him as a “psychopath” – and smashing her cell phone, which earned him an aggravated assault charge. Zimmerman, who appeared in handcuffs and a blue prison uniform during his arraignment, was released on $5,000 bond.
This isn’t Zimmerman’s first brush with the law since his July 2013 acquittal on second degree murder charges. In fact, menacing with firearms and bouts of domestic violence are recurring themes in Zimmerman’s checkered history. Shortly after the July 2013 trial, for instance, Zimmerman’s now ex-wife Shellie made a panicked phone call to police alleging that Zimmerman had threatened her with a firearm, smashed her iPad and punched her father in the face. “He’s in his car and he continually has his hand on his gun and he keeps saying, ‘Step closer’ —he’s just threatening all of us with his firearm and he’s going to shoot us,” Shellie Zimmerman frantically told a 911 dispatcher before police arrived at the scene. A weapon was never recovered in this case, but 911 audio demonstrates a sincere belief on the part of Shellie Zimmerman that her estranged husband had a gun in his possession and that her life was in danger.
A few months after the altercation with his ex-wife, Zimmerman was also accused by another girlfriend, Samantha Scheibe, of threatening her with a shotgun and engaging in a destructive tirade which ended in Zimmerman barricading himself in Scheibe’s home. Scheibe told police that Zimmerman had broken some of her belongings and then pushed her outside of the residence, locking the door. Yet another girlfriend, former fiancé Veronica Zuazo, filed for and was granted a restraining order against Zimmerman in 2005 over domestic violence allegations. Zimmerman cross-claimed with his own accusations of domestic violence and was granted a restraining order against Zuazo.
In September 2014, Zimmerman was again in the news over a road rage incident in which he allegedly followed another motorist and harassed him while both were driving. The alarmed driver pulled off the road to call 911, telling the dispatcher that Zimmerman had threatened to shoot him. According to the other driver, whose identity was not released to the public, Zimmerman fled before police arrived. A few days later, the same driver made another call to police alleging that he saw Zimmerman in his truck outside his place of work.
Criminal charges in the above cases were either dropped or never filed, but they do give a strong indication of the real character of George Zimmerman. The latest altercation coupled with the previous incidents paint a portrait of a troubled man with, to say the least, some serious anger management issues. While this does not render him a murderer, it certainly does chip away at his credibility. And since there were only two antagonists in the Trayvon Martin shooting case, one of whom is dead, credibility is a central issue.
As noted by David Horowitz in a July 2013 article, “Is the Zimmerman Case Really Open and Shut?”, there were a number of facts in this case that were indisputable. Zimmerman lied during the proceedings. He schemed with his wife to conceal the fact that he had received well over a hundred thousand dollars in donations. He disingenuously stated that he had no knowledge of Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law when it was established that he in fact did know of the law. And he stated that Martin jumped out at him from the bushes, when there were no bushes in that area. Moreover, Zimmerman sustained very superficial injuries – some minor scrapes and bumps – and these injuries are not entirely consistent with the life and death struggle that Zimmerman described.
Trayvon Martin, who had made a purchase at a local convenience store, was unarmed when he was killed. Zimmerman, a cop wannabe, marked Martin as “suspicious,” because, as we now know, he was young, black and wearing a hoodie. Prosecutors asserted that Zimmerman disregarded a police dispatcher’s specific instructions to stop following Martin, though Zimmerman disputes this and claimed that he was merely trying to verify his location. Whichever version is accurate, it is indisputable that by initially exiting his vehicle and following Martin, Zimmerman put into motion a sequence of events that ultimately culminated in a confrontation which led to the tragic death of an unarmed 17-year-old youth with no criminal record.
As observed by Horowitz, Zimmerman inexplicably stated in an interview with Sean Hannity that he would not have done anything differently that night because “it was God’s plan.” That bizarre and heartless response speaks volumes about Zimmerman’s character. Surely Zimmerman had a multitude of alternatives. For one thing, he could have placed a 911 call from his car and left it at that.
Horowitz was criticized by numerous Frontpage readers in the comment section of his article for ostensibly taking too liberal of a position. But Zimmerman’s repeated post-acquittal run-ins with the law – where his rage and aggression are central and undeniable themes – have vindicated Horowitz’s position that this case was far from clear-cut in terms of Zimmerman’s alleged “self-defense.” There was, in fact, ample reason to question Zimmerman’s account of events and the legal process needed to take its course.
This is not to say that Zimmerman’s version of events was untrue and his acquittal wrong. The defense did an excellent job in raising reasonable doubt, but some myopic conservatives were clearly too quick to assume Zimmerman’s innocence, ignoring an abundance of inculpatory evidence while focusing instead on exculpatory evidence. In many ways, their reactions mimicked those of radical leftists and race-baiters like Al Sharpton, who automatically assumed that Zimmerman was guilty regardless of the sufficiency of the evidence and ramped up an unassuageable campaign of lynch mob justice.
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