I, like many others, have recently been swept up in the debate over who-hit-who and whether or not George Zimmerman was hurt when he shot Trayvon Martin. While Richard is right to say that we should not jump to any conclusions regarding the circumstances surrounding the actual act of Zimmerman shooting Martin, we have sufficient facts surrounding the preceding events to know that Zimmerman is certainly no hero and should not be compared to Richard Jewell.
We know for a fact that Zimmerman had a history of judicial hypochondria, specifically toward African Americans. We know for a fact that Martin relayed to his girlfriend moments before he was killed that he was being followed by a strange man. We know that this pursuit had been discouraged by the very law enforcement that Zimmerman was appealing to for aid. We know for a fact that Zimmerman outweighed Martin by nearly 100 pounds, yet insists that Martin took him down with a single punch and proceeded to beat the living daylights out of him. We know for a fact that a witness was corrected by a police officer when she said that she heard a teen, not a grown man, yelling for help.
Like Richard Jewell, George Zimmerman is receiving a public trial. This is the case in any high-profile investigation. But in this instance the public is privy to so much more evidence surrounding the case that a comparison between Zimmerman, a racist at least and murderer at worst, and Jewell, a misunderstood hero, seems incredibly misguided. I agree with my fellow contributor that there is reasonable doubt as to whether or not George Zimmerman was under attack when he shot Trayvon Marti. But to suggest that we know nothing about this case, and to ignore the fact that even if he was under attack he was nevertheless the initial aggressor, does not do this case justice.
The public was wrong to condemn Richard Jewell prematurely because the evidence they used in their faux-trial was entirely circumstantial. To compare him to George Zimmerman is to disregard everything that we DO know about the current case before us.