At the moment, it's in the hands of the Justice Department. That's a good thing. Were the case to be handled by Florida officials, 'twould be a cause for concern, with alarm antennae at the ready. Fertile ground for race to substitute for justice. Let's take note of a few things.
The "stand your ground' law simply means that when faced with a reasonable apprehension of a threat of death or serious bodily harm, you don't have to use available avenues of escape and may stand your ground and use deadly force to defend yourself. But that apprehension must pass the "reasonable man" test, and not be based upon whim or fancy. The Florida obviation of the necessity to retreat does not dismiss the the necessity that George Zimmerman's belief that he was being threatened with deadly force was reasonable. That's an objective test which requires that the eyes of the beholder be reasonable, what Zimmerman himself thought, notwithstanding.
The F.B.I. is all over the place. It's primary purpose is to ascertain whether Martin's civil rights were violated, thereby giving rise to Federal jurisdiction. That's as close to a level playing field as one can get. The ongoing federal investigation appears to be ultra thorough and should summarize the available evidence while determining at what level the case should be handled.
It is difficult to formulate a legal theory of just what happened, based upon conflicting accounts reported by the media. The issue, as I see it, is "who was the aggressor and at what point in time was this role justifiably assumed?"
The temptation to emotionally rush to judgement is understandably great. But, this must be avoided now that the Justice Department, under a nation's watch, is trying to determine just what the facts are. This could prove to be the prototype of how to resolve a matter, with racial overtones, in an orderly and just fashion. The federal investigation's focus is on whether a "hate crime" was committed, thereby establishing federal jurisdiction of a civil rights violation. It should also tell us what happened and the most effective avenue of dealing with it.
My bottom line: Zimmerman has a significantly heavy laboring oar to justify this killing on the ground of self defense. His use of deadly force does not seem viable.
The divisive problem will arise if the Feds don't take the case and this responsibility befalls the state of Florida.
That's when, like a bell sounding the final round, the nation will tensely lean forward in its seat and focus on the racially charged outcome.
For now, there's reason for patient optimism that justice will be served.
The F.BI. is thoroughly investigating.
They are accountable to the Attorney General. He is accountable to the President of the United States.
Both are African Americans.
Nothing to be implied.
Just a fact-----which should not provoke any skepticism, but rather assure an investigatory compass of fairness.
I believe its burden of responsibility shall be successfully borne.