No Officer Wilson Rap, But How About Zimmerman?





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November 5, 2014 -
© Jack Cashill

A federal grand jury met Wednesday in Orlando to hear testimony about whether George Zimmerman violated Trayvon Martin's civil rights when he shot and killed the seventeen year-old nearly three years ago in Sanford, Florida.

The timing here is, to say the least, suspicious. A day after an October 30 Orlando Sentinel article first reported the impending session, the Washington Post conceded that “Justice Department investigators have all but concluded they do not have a strong enough case to bring civil rights charges against Darren Wilson.”

To charge Wilson gratuitously would enrage the nation’s police. The luckless Zimmerman has no such support group. One does not have to be a cynic to see how his arrest on federal charges might pacify the media-stoked rage of the Obama constituency.

Wilson, of course, is the white police officer who shot and killed the otherwise unarmed 6’, 4”, 300-pound Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri in August of this year.

For weeks, federal investigators have been leaking to both the Post and the New York Times details that confirm Wilson’s account of the shooting.

An October 17 Times story not only recounted Wilson’s version of events inside the officer’s vehicle but also squared it up with the forensic evidence.

As Wilson told the story, Brown reached for the gun, and it was fired twice, one shot striking Brown on the hand. In the scuffle, Brown “punched and scratched [Wilson] repeatedly.” Forensic tests meanwhile showed Brown’s blood on the gun, on Wilson’s clothes, and on the interior door panel.

Although Attorney General Eric Holder has denied the same, the Department of Justice seems to be preparing the public for the likelihood that Wilson will not be charged in Brown’s death, either on state or federal charges.

A dismissal of the case against Wilson makes the charging of Zimmerman all the more attractive. The excuse the Justice Department has used to target Zimmerman anew, the Sentinel suggests, is the changed testimony of Zimmerman neighbor, Frank Taaffe.

According to the Sentinel, “Taaffe has reversed his position and now says that he believes Zimmerman was motivated by race the night he followed then shot Trayvon in 2012.”

The focus on Taaffe would have raised eyebrows at any newspaper less in the tank than the Sentinel. To this point, Taaffe has been the most provocative and outspoken of Zimmerman defenders and has been punished for it.

At one point, Taaffe had the temerity to suggest why someone like Martin may have looked suspicious to Zimmerman.

Taaffe told CNN’s Soledad O’Brien that earlier in February 2012 Zimmerman had spotted a young black male snooping around Taaffe’s house and called the police.

The Sanford PD confirmed the call and the address. Zimmerman’s complaint on the city’s website reads, "Black male--leather jacket, black hat, printed PJ pants--keeps going to the residence which is owned by a white male. Black male subject in question was gone upon police arrival."

Taaffe’s townhouse was particularly vulnerable because he lived right by the unauthorized shortcut into the community. He told the FBI that he saw about twenty-five people a week entering through that opening, the great majority being “young black males,” some of them smoking marijuana.

Taaffe truly provoked Martin supporters by claiming that black males had committed all the eight recent burglaries in his neighborhood.

The Sanford PD again confirmed the burglaries but could account for suspects on only four of them, all four black males. In fact, it would not have mattered if the SPD had reported that all eight were black.

So intense is the taboo against racial profiling on the left that citizens are expected to deny their own experiences or, at the very least, remain silent about them.

When the FBI descended on Zimmerman’s community in April 2012 to assess his state of mind, the agents got an earful on the state of the neighborhood from Taaffe. The only interviewee the FBI identified by name, Taaffe offered a brief history of its rapid decline.

As he told the agents, when real estate was hot, several people had bought into the community hoping to “flip” the townhouses quickly.

When the market tanked, they were unable to sell and forced to rent, often without conducting proper background or credit checks.

“The community got bad,” said Taaffe. He saw more trash, more speeders, more flagrant violations of the homeowner association rules. He described the community now as “transient” and “not stable.”

New renters included an unmarried black woman and her three children, one of whom would later be arrested for the sale of cocaine. According to Taaffe, the family was openly selling marijuana out of the house.

In another case, as Taaffe related, a search warrant was served on an Hispanic family for selling drugs out of their home.

“If Taaffe would have seen Trayvon Martin,” the FBI reported, “he would have kept a visual on him.” According to Taaffe, the Sanford PD had instructed neighborhood watch volunteers to do just that.

When Taaffe surfaced as a Zimmerman defender, the media, true to form, attacked him. Taking the lead was NBC’s informational homeland for African Americans, The Grio.

Ironically, NBC launched this, the first race-oriented “video-centric news community site,” soon after Obama’s election on the theme of “one people, one America.”

The Grio went hard and deep on Taaffe, who is white.

Among other outrages, it produced a history of his encounters with the law—including a fifteen-year-old domestic battery case long since dismissed— that was far more exhaustive than any it had done on Trayvon Martin.

More than five months after the shooting, the Grio celebrated Taaffe’s drunken driving arrest almost as enthusiastically as it did Zimmerman’s arrest for second degree murder.

George Zimmerman supporter Frank Taaffe arrested for DUI,” shouted the Grio headline above a mug shot of “one of George Zimmerman’s staunchest supporters.”

If anyone at NBC thought it unseemly for one of its subsidiaries to undermine the judicial process by intimidating witnesses, that protest did not make it into the public record.

If anyone at the Sentinel thought it suspicious that the Justice Department would flip Zimmerman’s staunchest supporter, that has not made it into the public record either.

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