, Salem, MA


July 25, 2013

Ambrose: The profiling of George Zimmerman


On the race question, he has those black kinfolk, he has black friends, he once protested the beating of a black man and he has tutored black children. In 35 interviews, FBI investigators found no neighbor or co-worker who recalled his ever expressing racial hostility.

His guilt?

There had been a number of burglaries in the neighborhood, some understandably nervous neighbors applauded Zimmerman as a volunteer and he had received 14 weeks of training in a police program. It’s logical enough to believe Trayvon Martin attacked him out of dislike of being followed, which is no excuse. Martin was more physically fit than Zimmerman, one expert testified. In text messages the judge would not admit into evidence in the trial, Martin apparently showed great enthusiasm for fist fighting.

One witness thinks he saw Martin on top of Zimmerman. A forensics expert says the fatal shot appears to have been fired at someone on top of Zimmerman. We know from injuries that Zimmerman’s head was slammed against the concrete sidewalk. We know there was no evidence of Martin having been hit at all.

Does it strike you as irrational conjecture, then, that Martin started the fight? Does it seem inconceivable that he slugged away at Zimmerman from on top of him? Even if you do not believe Zimmerman’s story that Martin saw his gun and reached for it, it is it preposterous to say Zimmerman felt his best chance to keep on living was to use his firearm?

If you concede that there is at least a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman started the fight and shot Martin while thinking he himself was in no serious danger, you have to agree that the jury was right in saying Zimmerman was not guilty by reason of self-defense.

The death of Martin was a dreadful thing, but, on a different scale, so is the racial profiling of Zimmerman, the talk of retaliatory justice, the eagerness of some to put him in double jeopardy through a phony federal criminal charge and a hateful, arrogant, leftist bigotry that is just as real as any other bigotry.


Jay Ambrose, formerly Washington director of editorial policy for Scripps Howard newspapers and the editor of dailies in El Paso, Texas, and Denver, is a columnist living in Colorado. He can be reached at

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