Trayvon Martin Killing Takes A Political Turn

There’s no other way to characterize this story

(Miami Herald) The U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and the FBI will investigate the killing of Miami Gardens teenager Trayvon Martin by a neighborhood watch volunteer, the department announced late Monday.

The announcement coincided with a statement from Florida Gov. Rick Scott asking the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to offer “appropriate resources” in the case.

The federal and state agencies are intervening in what attorneys call a botched investigation into the killing of the Michael Krop Senior High School student, who was killed Feb. 26 in Sanford, a town of 55,000 just north of Orlando. Trayvon, 17, on suspension from school, was staying at his father’s girlfriend’s house when he walked to a nearby a 7-Eleven store to buy candy and iced tea.

Everyone is asking for more investigations into this killing. There are petitions out there, demonstrations, accusations of police misconduct. And, there could certainly have been police misconduct. But, why the FBI and DOJ? My issue with this is the Central Government getting involved in a state matter. It has become so big that Zimmerman can never get a fair shake.

The Congressional Black Caucus wants it investigated as a “hate crime“. Zimmerman is Hispanic, Martin is black. And therein lies the problem with federal hate crimes laws: they can be used for almost anything, and involve the federal government whenever they want. Even if there is really no need

“The department will conduct a thorough and independent review of all of the evidence and take appropriate action at the conclusion of the investigation,” the Justice Department said in a statement. “The department also is providing assistance to and cooperating with the state officials in their investigation into the incident. With all federal civil rights crimes, the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person acted intentionally and with the specific intent to do something which the law forbids – the highest level of intent in criminal law.

“Negligence, recklessness, mistakes and accidents are not prosecutable under the federal criminal civil rights laws.”

Yet, the DOJ and FBI are getting involved anyway. Furthermore

The U.S. Community Relations Service will be in Sanford this week to meet with civil rights leaders, community leaders and local law enforcement officials to address tension in the community, the Justice Department announcement said.

One of the reasons we have a 10th Amendment is because the original colonies were pretty much the size of the old European countries. Hence, the reason we called them “States”, as in “nation-states.” And the Framers did not want the federal government to grow out of control.

Don’t get me wrong: like Tom Maguire, I think Zimmerman did something wrong. But, at this point, it seems that the Central Government may be fishing for any sort of criminal charges, and there is no possible way that Zimmerman could get a fair, impartial trial as required by the Bill of Rights.

Liberal Talk Left does seem to have a point about “armed members of civil watch groups.” On the flip side, in Sanford, Florida, “sections of the city are plagued by crime, drugs, gangs, domestic violence, child abuse, rape, AIDS, poor health, illiteracy and many other dire situations.” Zimmerman surely, to put it mildly, over-reacted. This is a tragedy, but not one which requires the heavy hand of the federal government.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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