Via Ron Beasley at Newshoggers, we find this great interview — lawyer and former prosecutor Mike Papantonio on the Stephanie Miller Show.
His point is clear: Because the Sanford police did not do their job, any competent defense attorney can get George Zimmerman found innocent of wrongdoing.
Be sure to listen through — at 2:35 Papantonio discusses the racial history of that department.
This isn't the first time with this police department down there. They're disfunctional, and part of the problem is the "race card" runs through that department. Sanford is the new Selma.And (4:52):
People are missing the fact [that] this is an area that didn't even have an organized neighborhood watch [!]. ... When I used to prosecute I would see these characters that would hang out at police departments, they'd hang around the state attorney's office, they had this Batman mentality.... In reality they are Walter Mitty ... with a gun.Did you catch that? No neighborhood watch, says Florida-based Mike Papantonio. Is the media misunder-characterizing our local neighborhood shooter?
Which reminds me of this excellent piece by Digby, on Sanford Florida's other dark days:
We were talking about the Trayvon Martin tragedy the other day and a friend pointed out that Sanford was only about 130 miles from the town of Rosewood, the site of the notorious Rosewood massacre:I'll let you read the rest; it's an especially fine bit of research.Rosewood was a quiet, primarily black, self-sufficient whistle stop on the Seaboard Air Line Railway. Spurred by unsupported accusations that a white woman in nearby Sumner had been beaten and possibly raped by a black drifter, white men from nearby towns lynched a Rosewood resident. When black citizens defended themselves against further attack, several hundred whites combed the countryside hunting for black people, and burned almost every structure in Rosewood. Survivors hid for several days in nearby swamps and were evacuated by train and car to larger towns. Although state and local authorities were aware of the violence, they made no arrests for the activities in Rosewood. The town was abandoned by black residents during the attacks. None ever returned.It turns out that Sanford Florida, where Trayvon was killed, has a history of its own:[W]hen it comes to a history of fear, racism and violence, Sanford, Florida, has a particularly fraught past, one that traces right up to the night a month ago when an unarmed black kid was shot dead on one of its streets, and his killer went free. ...
The new Selma. I keep thinking about those White Pride marches the crazy right keeps thinking is the ever-innocent equivalent of Black Pride or Gay Pride events.
Equivalent only on the surface. What's missing? Any recognition of the extreme imbalance in power.
How about this? Oppressor Pride Day. Or a Nazi Pride march through Warsaw, 1940. Maybe a Male Pride rally around the local YWCA. Or a Roman Army Pride march straight down the streets of Jerusalem in 42 AD — 'cause, you know, the Legion has rights too, and pride to burn.
All the equivalence in the world, except ... not.
UPDATES: (1) This comment and its replies are worth noting. (2) Also this re Neighborhood Watch.
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