Why the state and the FBI should get involved in Trayvon Martin’s case

The police in the town where Trayvon Martin was killed apparently have had issues with prosecuting crimes against black people. Consider:

In 2010, police waited seven weeks to arrest a lieutenant’s son who was caught on video sucker-punching a homeless black man.

In 2005, two security guards — one the son of a longtime Sanford police officer and the other a department volunteer — killed a black man they said was trying to run them over. Black leaders complained of a lackluster investigation. The guards ultimately were acquitted.

The police chief thinks that Trayvon, who went to a convenience store to buy Skittles, is at fault:

“We are taking a beating over this,” said Lee, who defends the investigation. “This is all very unsettling. I’m sure if George Zimmerman had the opportunity to relive Sunday, Feb. 26, he’d probably do things differently. I’m sure Trayvon would, too.”

The police bought the self-defense story without drug or alcohol testing or any sort of investigation:

Police Chief Bill Lee said that although police do not encourage watch program volunteers to carry weapons, he recognizes a citizen’s constitutional right to do so. No arrest was made, Lee said, because there was no evidence to disprove Zimmerman’s account.

And the police chief thinks that he’s the real victim here:

Even the police chief recognizes this reality, even while disputing claims of racial bias in the investigation: “Our investigation is color blind and based on the facts and circumstances, not color. I know I can say that until I am blue in the face, but, as a white man in a uniform, I know it doesn’t mean anything to anybody.”

This is why higher levels of law enforcement are allowed to intervene in some cases – local police forces in certain parts of the country have a history of just ignoring crimes against certain people, and they have little ability to see that they’re doing it.
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