"The suspect," a relatively innocuous phrase, but one that could hold great meaning as the trial of George Zimmerman, who stands accused of murdering 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, continues.
In this fourth week of the trial, jurors have heard testimony from several witnesses who recounted Zimmerman's somewhat varying descriptions of what occurred on the night of February 26, 2012. Throughout the testimony, the prosecution has made it a point to highlight Zimmerman's use of language some might consider "police jargon."
The Huffington Post has created the above video mash-up that highlights Zimmerman's use of this kind of language.
The prosecution's pointing to Zimmerman's repeated use of phrases like "the suspect" or "my firearm," go toward bolstering two of its main contentions: that Zimmerman profiled Martin, believing that the teen was "up to no good," and that Zimmerman was an overzealous neighborhood watch enthusiast who once harbored ambitions of being a police officer.
The prosecution sought to further this characterization of Zimmerman with the testimony of Scott Kearns of the Prince William County Police Department in Northern Virginia. Kearns' testimony indicated that Zimmerman applied to become a police officer, but that his application was denied. Prosecutors also called U.S. Army Capt. Alexis Francisco-Carter, a Judge Advocate General officer who taught a criminal litigation course Zimmerman took while pursuing a degree in criminal justice at Seminole State College.
The prosecution also seemed to use Francisco-Carter's testimony to call Zimmerman's credibility into question. In an interview last year with Fox News' Sean Hannity, that was shown to jurors yesterday, Zimmerman indicated that he was not familiar with Florida's "Stand Your Ground" laws at the time of the shooting.
HANNITY: A lot of this case legally -- and we are going to get to Mark in a few minutes here and ask him about a lot of legal aspects, because there are so many of them in this case -- has to do with stand your ground. You have heard a lot about it. And I was just curious, prior to this night, this incident, had you even heard stand your ground?
ZIMMERMAN: No, sir.
HANNITY: You have never heard about it before?
Francisco-Carter testified today that Florida's Stand Your Ground law was, in fact, covered extensively in the class and that Zimmerman received an "A."
The prosecution's characterization of Zimmerman's intense interest in law enforcement and what they believe to be his prejudicial profiling of Martin are being used to paint Zimmerman as the aggressor in the confrontation that lead to the 17-year-old's death.