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Dr. Boyce Watkins

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George Zimmerman Bail Reverses All Hard Work Done for Trayvon Martin

Posted: 04/26/12 06:07 PM ET

What do you do when your municipality is holding arguably the most-hated and notorious killer on earth?  You grant him bail. That's exactly what Judge Kenneth Lester did for George Zimmerman, the man who killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

As a condition of his bail, Zimmerman is not allowed to have possession of firearms, drink alcohol, or use drugs.  He must also maintain a curfew.  How nice.

If the city of Sanford wanted to embarrass itself any further, it just did.

The justice system that has obtained international prominence as one of the most inept, irresponsible, racist and unprofessional organizations in the country has set a new standard for judicial indecency.  The family of Trayvon Martin worked hard to get Zimmerman arrested because he was a flight risk, now he's a flight risk all over again.

Granting bail for George Zimmerman, for the most part, is a slap in the face to those around the world who worked for his arrest.  It simply says that without regard to the will of the people, those possessing the power of the state have no obligation to answer to anyone or even share whatever information they are using to come to their illogical decisions.

Granting bail to Zimmerman renders all the rallies, petitions and hard work done around the world to bring him to justice meaningless.  It effectively communicates defiance within the Sanford judicial system to say, "We don't care what you think.  We're going to do whatever we choose to do."

At this point, it's hard to argue against anyone who feels compelled to hold the city of Sanford accountable for its actions.  Boycotts, (peaceful) civil disobedience, and other tools at our disposal are called for when it comes to dealing with this tragedy of a judicial process.  George Zimmerman himself should not be tried in the court of public opinion, but the public deserves answers to ensure that this son of a judge who's been allowed to skirt responsibility for his actions in the past, isn't being given yet another free ride by one of his father's friends.

George Zimmerman may or may not be guilty of second-degree murder in the death of Trayvon Martin.  But when accused of racial inequality, disrespect for the law, and stomping on the civil rights of its citizens, the Sanford judicial system has been found guilty beyond measure.

The same system that let a killer walk away from the scene of the crime and held a boy's body in the morgue long after his parents filed a missing person's report, is the one that is now allowing George Zimmerman to walk the streets with the rest of us.

This is what Sanford justice is all about, and it is a reminder that we cannot simply sit back and let the system take its course.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Professor at Syracuse University. To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.

 

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