The prosecution of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin was “a political prosecution rather than one based on the facts and the law,” Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, told Newsmax late Saturday.
“That’s best exemplified in the extraordinary deployment of Obama administration resources to Florida in the run-up to the actual prosecution,” Fitton told Newsmax in an exclusive interview. “You had the Justice Department breathing down their necks.”
Fitton noted how Sanford, Fla., police initially declined to prosecute Zimmerman, 29, in the February 2012 shooting of the unarmed 17-year-old because of the state’s “stand your ground” law.
Zimmerman cited the law in contending that he was acting in self-defense — and community outrage over the police department’s initial inaction led to the firing of Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee, who insisted that there had not been sufficient evidence to bring charges against Zimmerman.
Then, a secretive branch of the Justice Department was sent to Sanford to help organize rallies, Fitton noted. One event was headlined by the Rev. Al Sharpton, who called for Zimmerman’s arrest and prosecution.
Justice documents obtained by Judicial Watch revealed those activities of the department’s Community Relations Service in March and April of 2012.
And only after the protests and social media outrage alleging racial profiling and discrimination did Florida Gov. Rick Scott appoint a special prosecutor, who brought the charges against Zimmerman six weeks after the shooting.
“Surprise, surprise,” Fitton told Newsmax. “There’s a poor prosecution that results from a process that was kind of distorted almost immediately.”
“Prosecutions can be brought for purposes other than what they are supposed to, which is to seek justice,” Fitton added. “On the other hand, the system in this sense worked in that the jury rejected out of hand the prosecution’s case.”
Zimmerman was acquitted by six women jurors — five of whom were white. The other was Hispanic.
“The prosecution really didn’t have a case, and the jury quickly found that,” Fitton said. “I think if there had been an all-male jury, and all-female jury, a mixed jury, there would have been the same result.”
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