ll the mainstream news outlets are running with a surprising new story today about George Zimmerman: he’s “not violent” and he’s “not a racist,” according to witnesses interviewed by law enforcement.
Calling someone who obtained a permit to carry a loaded handgun and just confessed to a killing “not violent” is a bit of a stretch. It’s kind of like when the Miami’s cannibal’s girlfriend and high-school friends stepped forward to say “he was such a sweet, kind guy, and very respectful.” They forgot the time he threatened to blow his mother’s brains out.
But hey, I don’t know Zimmerman. Nor have I read or listened to the actual witness statements reported today. Maybe he was a real cuddly Teddy Bear to most of his co-workers, friends and family, a regular-old Martin Luther King in his embrace of people of all races.
But unless I’m misunderstanding something, today’s news coverage distorts the totality of what witnesses and records have said about Zimmerman.
I distinctly recall that on May 17, the prosecutors in the Trayvon Martin case released a cache of records that contained at least one interview with a witness saying Zimmerman is a racist.
Here’s the man’s interview, which ThinkProgress summarized as:
And let’s not forget that Zimmerman was arrested for fighting with a police officer who was trying to arrest his friend for underage drinking, which is pretty interesting behavior for a non-violent person.
I also remember the Daily News — not exactly a Trayvon-Martin-loving news outlet — reporting that a former co-worker of Zimmerman’s said this:
“One time this woman was acting a little out of control. She was drunk. George lost his cool and totally overreacted,” he said. “It was weird, because he was such a cool guy, but he got all nuts. He picked her up and threw her. It was pure rage. She twisted her ankle. Everyone was flipping out.”
Granted this co-worker wasn’t under oath when he spoke to the Daily News and his name wasn’t even used in the article. Maybe law enforcement didn’t interview him, in which case, his statements wouldn’t have been accessible to other news outlets. But I can’t help thinking about why today’s news doesn’t reference this interview and the other accounts of Zimmerman that show the man who pulled the trigger.