Robert Zimmerman Jr., outspoken defender and brother of the killer of Trayvon Martin, stirred outrage over the weekend. He sent a tweet linking the slain unarmed teenager with De’Marquise Elkins, the Georgia teenager charged with murdering a 13-month-old in a stroller last Thursday. Included in the tweet were alleged photos of the two in juvenile middle-finger poses. As if the photos weren’t offensive enough, the words accompanying them were a bridge too far: “A picture is worth a thousand words.”
I know I’m not alone being offended by this. But you will never believe who was also deeply offended. “A comment like that tying Trayvon Marton to a murdering 17-year-old because they are both black and showing their middle fingers is absurd,” Mark O’Mara told me Tuesday evening.
While the lawyer for George Zimmerman doesn’t believe this case is a prime example of the treatment and plight of young black males by the criminal justice system, he has said in previous interviews that a conversation on said plight needs to happen. He even said that he would gladly join Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump in leading one. But Robert Zimmerman’s tweet “does the opposite of trying to have that conversation. That is the antithesis of everything we’ve been saying.” In fact, O’Mara has tried mightily to squeeze race out of his second-degree murder case. Nevermind that some of his actions (i.e. seeking access to Trayvon’s Facebook and Twitter accounts) and the words of some of Zimmerman’s and Trayvon’s supporters help to keep race at the forefront of this case.
O’Mara was emphatic when he said that his client’s older brother does not represent or speak for his client. He was also quick to point out that he has not been in contact with Robert. “I would like to say his heart is in the right place,” O’Mara told me, “but his words didn’t match.”
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