Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Tragedy No Matter What

Here are the pertinent facts that we know about the tragedy in Florida:
  • A seventeen year old boy is dead
  • The shooter claims self-defense
  • Six witnesses saw or heard part of the struggle
  • It is unclear if anyone saw the entire event
  • More than one witness corroborated part of the shooters account 
  • It is unclear if any witness contradicted the shooter's account, though at least one had their positions reversed during part of the struggle  
  • The police on the scene recommended charging the shooter
  • The state did not initially charge the shooter
  • A Special Prosecutor has been assigned to the case
  • The State is collecting the facts and preparing the case for either a Grand Jury or the Special Prosecutor to make a recommendation
Here's what we know about the tragedy in Washington:
  • The dead boy was black and the shooter was "white hispanic" (according to the NYT) and may have said "fucking coon" or "fucking goon" while in pursuit.  This has given the incident racial overtones, and before all the facts were known, the President made comments reinforcing that perception    
  • The New Black Panthers have put a bounty on the head of the shooter and the President has said...nothing
  • Spike Lee, a supporter and financier of the President's tweeted the address of an innocent couple claiming it was the shooters, endangering the couple and forcing them to flee their home while the President said...nothing
  • Congressional Black Caucus members have used racially charged rhetoric and made irresponsibly accusatory statements from the floor of Congress and to the media, while the President has said...nothing
  • Black leaders like Louis Farrakhan, Al Sharpton, and Jesse Jackson have incited anger and used violent rhetoric in promoting this as a racial incident and the President has said...nothing
  • Death threats have been issued to the shooter, friends of the shooter, the family of the shooter, and witnesses who've come forward corroborating the shooters account, and the President has said...nothing  
  • Angry protesters ransacked a store, and the President said...nothing
  • Social media accounts have sprung up calling for the murder of the shooter, and the President has said...nothing
It may take a Special Prosecutor, a Grand Jury, and a trial to sort through the Florida tragedy, but justice will eventually be served.  

Meanwhile, the Washington tragedy proceeds apace until possibly the November election.