When Benjamin Crump, legal counsel for Trayvon Martin’s family, interviewed with the Orlando Sentinel last month, he revealed that he believed Martin’s race plays a factor in how the alleged murder is being handled. “Nobody believes that if you make Trayvon Martin white [and Zimmerman black], there’s no way he would not be arrested,” Cump said. “And that’s the unfortunate and tragic truth of the matter. There is a double standard. That’s why race is involved in this case.” Crump went on to add that coveted race factor in the case is the “elephant in the room.”
Mark O’Mara, lead attorney for George Zimmerman, fired back at Crump’s remarks via a website set-up by Zimmerman’s defense team and denied that race plays a factor in the case. “Mr. Crump has led a chorus of voices in drawing attention to the race factor in the George Zimmerman case, including comments from the President of the United States. While it can be safely argued that it is largely the question of civil rights issues that has made the George Zimmerman case a national — and international — story, there is nothing to support the contention of racism in the Zimmerman case,” he wrote. “The real “elephant in the room,” however, is that race should not be a factor in the George Zimmerman case, and should never have been made one.”
“Let’s forget for a moment that George Zimmerman is Hispanic, not white,” O’Mara continued. “What Mr. Crump is saying is that race is an issue in the George Zimmerman case because, he insists, that if a black man shot a white person in a similar situation, the black man would have been immediately arrested. This is not an indictment of George Zimmerman; this is fundamentally an accusation that the Sanford Police Department acted in a racist way, and that perhaps the criminal justice system at large is biased against black men. The truth is that there is credible evidence that black men are overrepresented in the criminal justice system, and that is evidence of an underlying problem.”
O’Mara continued to write that now is the time to have a conversation about the bias against black men in the criminal justice system at large. “This is something that needs to be discussed as a nation, and if this case has brought that conversation to the forefront, then now is the time to have that conversation. Mr. Crump is right in talking about the George Zimmerman case when he says: ‘It shouldn’t be about race.’ But by projecting race onto the George Zimmerman case, Mr. Crump is pinning a supposed civil rights victory on a Zimmerman conviction,” O’Mara wrote. “The problem is that by associating a Zimmerman conviction with a civil rights victory, Mr. Crump has framed a scenario where a Zimmerman victory in a Self-Defense Immunity Hearing or a Zimmerman acquittal will represent a civil rights defeat. That is inappropriate and dangerous to us as a nation.”
Do You Believe Race Plays A Factor In The Handling Of The Trayvon Martin Case?