Trayvon Martin: Homicide Investigator wanted Zimmerman arrested
Officer in Trayvon Case wanted to arrest Zimmerman
Several news outlets are now reporting that the lead homicide investigator on the Trayvon Martin case wanted George Zimmerman arrested and charged with manslaughter. Detective Chris Serino signed an affidavit saying that he was unconvinced by Zimmerman’s version of events. His request was overruled by the State’s Attorney citing lack of evidence.
In other news, a New Orleans Police officer who is under investigation for the shooting of a 20-year-old black man posted on a local TV channel’s blog “Act like a thug, die like a thug.” He then went on to tell another commenter to “come to our town with a "Hoodie" and you join Martin in hell…” Officer Jason Giroir has since resigned before termination procedures were started.
Two things about both of these incidents: the first is that it shows that there were conscientious police officers there the night Trayvon died who knew that something was wrong with Zimmerman’s story. I hate to say that the police believed Zimmerman’s account on face value, but it certainly seems that they did a cursory investigation. For example, one question posed by another writer today pointed out the fact that Trayvon obviously had identification on him. Though his parents did not know until almost two days later that Trayvon was dead, a report filled out that night lists Trayvon’s name, address, date of birth, and phone number. Why didn’t the police call that number? He also asks if the police had Trayvon’s phone, why didn’t they answer when his father called?
The thing that bothers me about the other report, and this can be applied to Sanford too, is that police departments have cultures and the one in New Orleans seems to be toxic. For a professional officer to label an unarmed teen a thug is reprehensible, but then to compound it by inviting another young black man to his town and threatening him with death for wearing a hoodie is criminal.
We need to change the culture of justice in America. It begins with those whom we hire to police our streets. It also begins with an honest conversation on race and inequality in this country. Let’s start the conversation today.